Burnt prisoner released from hospital

-seeks justice, aid for treatment

Nineteen-year-old Junior Thornton, who alleges that police officers at the Sparendaam police station burnt his hands, has been released from the George-town Public Hospital (GPH) Burn Care Unit and is asking for swift justice.

Thornton yesterday complained of pains he feels as a result of his burnt hands and enduring cognitive problems as a side effect of the medication given to him for treatment of the burns.

Thornton also said he was beaten and kicked about his body by officers prior to being burnt at the station, where he was being held.

Junior Thornton
Junior Thornton

Activist Mark Benschop said Thornton’s family does not want the matter to be prolonged for weeks like previous police brutality matters, such as the case of 15-year-old Alex Griffith, who was allegedly shot in the mouth by a police officer, who was charged more than a month after.

Benschop said that Thornton’s case file is presently at the Police Complaints Authority (PCA) and is expected to be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) by Friday, with further results in the case by Monday.

Efforts to contact Crime Chief Leslie James for further information on the matter were futile.

Stabroek News was told that one of the officers who was allegedly involved in the act was transferred to the Canine Unit, while another police officer also a suspect in the matter has been placed on close arrest. However, Thornton’s family fears that within 72 hours the rank will be released. It was further stated that other officers involved in the matter are still working at the Sparen-daam Police Station.

Police had announced on Monday that the Office of Professional Responsi-bility had completed the investigation of Thornton’s allegations and that the file was submitted to the PCA Chairman for a review and recommendations.

Benschop said since Thornton’s release from the hospital last Friday, the family has not heard from the police force.

He also said the teen’s family is not financially capable of paying for proper medical attention and added that the police force should ensure the teen has proper medical treatment.

He pleaded with agencies to intervene in the matter and offer counselling to the teen.

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