Two Coolie Town residents claim that their teenage relative was the victim of police brutality on Friday.
Verne Sevrne, the aunt of the alleged victim, said that on the day in question at about 7 pm a neighbour told her that her nephew had been arrested.
Sevrne said that she later received information that the youngster, Shervin Henry, was in custody in Castries.
She explained that when it was about 9 pm, Shervin arrived home.
“All his knee was bleeding, his head was hurting him, his mouth had one or two knocks – all his pants was dirty with mud,” Sevrne told reports.
She said the young man reported that six police officers took him to the Roseau beach, beat him up, put a gun to his mouth and hit him several times.
“They told him they are going to shoot him,'” the aunt said, adding that the lawmen wanted to know who was responsible for a fatal shooting in the community.
According to her, her nephew said he told the police officers he did not know what they were talking about but they tried to force him to confess to a crime he did not commit.
“They taking turns, that one saying :’Let me shoot him!’ The other one saying: ‘No, no, I want to be the one doing it. Let me do it!Let me do it.'” Sevrne stated.
She said the abuse continued for a while, as the officers kept demanding to know about someone called ‘Isimbert’. Sevrne said her nephew drifted in and out of consciousness.
“I don’t know how he managed to escape, but he ran – because he knew the area. He run for his life and that was it,” she said.
The aunt recalled that the teenager arrived home covered in dirt and wearing only boxer shorts.
The aunt recalled that on Saturday morning she was at her home when the police arrived.
“One of the officers gave my door three hard punches and told me ‘Open the door,'” she said.
The aunt said the officer demanded to know where ‘Isimbert’ was, to which she responded that she did not know the person.
According to her, the officer asked how many persons lived in the house and when he was told, proceeded to enter the building and pull out her son demanding to know where ‘Isimbert’ was, to which her son replied : “I don’t know. I don’t know who you are looking for. I am not Isimbert.”
Servne said at that point she asked her son to get his identification card to show it to the officer which he did.
However she explained that the officer proceeded to pull her eighteen year old son outside to a waiting vehicle which left with the teenager.
Servne said the vehicle returned with her son about half an hour later, whereupon the officers began asking for her nephew, Shervin, who had earlier reported being a victim of police brutality.
“We told them to go and look for Shervin by the beach because you all beat him up last night,” she disclosed, adding that the family contacted a lawyer about the situation and took Shervin into the Marigot Police Station where a statement was given by the young man.
Servne said Shervin was later taken to custody suites, the police explaining that he had escaped from lawful custody.
He was later released.
“I was wondering if by the beach is lawful custody,” she declared.
Another relative, Kasha Valty, demanded justice.
“I want justice. If you arrest a person, bring the person to the station – do not bring them by the beach and beat up the person like that,” she stated.
Valty said Shervin has no problems with anyone in Coolie Town.
But she told reporters that on one occasion the teenager was held and beaten up in Marigot.
“The fellas, I think he get one of the fellas and he hit the fella back, so they come – masked men come behind him home; they passed home and come behind him and after that they have been saying is Shervin that killed the boy in Marigot,” Valty said.
It was a reference to the May 21, 2017 shooting death of Crishna Chester Wilson who was attacked by masked gunmen outside a bar at Marigot.