A Diamond/Grove resident is in shock after an unknown police officer made her sign an agreement yesterday stating she would be required to pay $15,000 to replace a cell phone part, after the owner of the cell phone accused her of theft.
Bibi Ali recalled that not only did the officer coerce her and her daughter into signing statements they had not written, but the officer dragged them down the street and attempted to push them in a taxi in order to transport them to the Golden Grove Police Station.
Ali recalled that on Thursday her two daughters found a cell phone outside the Little Princess Taxi Service and took it home. They live just four houses away from the taxi service and she said her 16-year-old daughter later went to where the Samsung Galaxy cell phone was found and three of the drivers helped her to look for parts of it which were missing.
Ali recalled that one of the drivers then said that the owner of the taxi service was looking for the same phone. She said her daughter told the driver the owner should come with proof that the phone was his and it would be returned to him.
On Friday, she said, the man showed up with proof and with several drivers who behaved roughly and an argument ensued. The cell phone was given to the man, but one of the drivers then brought a police officer who began to rough up Ali and her daughter, claiming they had stolen the man’s phone.
“If we had stolen the phone we
wouldn’t have been there looking for things and we wouldn’t have shown the drivers the phone or ask them if they know is who own,” Ali’s daughter said.
When Stabroek News spoke with two neighbours of Ali, they said the officer had no badge and no form of identification. He also refused to give his name. The residents said they witnessed as the man dragged and pushed Ali and her daughter before Ali finally said she would walk to the station.
At the station, Ali said, the unknown officer prepared a statement and told Ali that since the phone was damaged while she had it, she would be responsible for paying for the damage.
Stabroek News went to the Golden Grove Police Station and spoke with an Officer Britton who stated that because police work a shift system he could not provide any information on any altercation.
However a taxi driver approached the station as Stabroek News was leaving and was overheard telling officers that the media and Ali were causing trouble and making the taxi service look bad.
Ali said, “we give back the phone, it wasn’t ours, but I don’t know why the police come here and drag me and my daughter about bruising up our feet. And he didn’t say his name we don’t know who he is. I’m not rich, but he said if I don’t repay this money I’m going to jail, fuh wah? I don’t know what crime happen even.”
This publication also spoke with the proprietor of the taxi service and was told that while he was not at home at the time of the incident, he was told that Ali’s daughter had stolen the phone, but could not say when or how.