Seven officers under probe after T&T boy claims he was set on fire in police custody

(Trinidad Express) Seven police officers from the Princes Town Police Station are under investigation in the case in which an 18-year-old suspect is claiming he was set on fire while in police custody.

The Express understands that charges may be laid against officers who were on duty on Christmas Eve when Jamerson John was in custody at the station.

The probe is being led by officers of the Professional Standards Unit of the Police Service.

John, 18, claimed that he was stripped to his underwear, doused with methylated spirits and set alight after he refused to confess to a crime near his Moruga home.

He was discharged from the San Fernando General Hospital’s burn unit last Sunday after being admitted on Christmas Day for injuries to his torso, leg and genital area.

Before the Princes Town court where John made his first appearance on Monday on housebreaking and robbery charges, police prosecutor Krishna Bedassie told the court that before John’s arrest, he had used methylated spirit on a wound to his foot and the flammable substance had fallen on his clothing.

Bedassie said when the teenager was taken into custody at the Princes Town police station, he came into contact with scented candles and his clothes caught afire.

Last week Senior Superintendent of Police Cecil Santana told the Express, “I have appointed an investigator to look into the matters. Reports have been submitted from the police officers concerned,”

The Express understands that seven officers in particular are being investigated.

The Police Complaints Authority has called for a copy of the police investigation file in the matter, including reports on John’s clothing and the scented candles.

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