The mother of a Palo Seco schoolboy is demanding justice after a police officer allegedly chopped him with a cutlass on his head during a police exercise near his home.
The 16-year-old Form Two student was treated at the Siparia Health Facility for a laceration to his skull.
He got ten stitches. Outraged over the incident, his mother Clover Vargas said her son was unarmed and was not a threat to the officers.
“He wasn’t doing anything, not to say he had a weapon or was a threat to them,” said the mother of five during an interview at their Frazer Trace, Palo Seco home yesterday.
Recalling the incident, the teenager said around 6 pm he left his uncle’s dam and was heading back to his home.
When he stepped onto the roadway opposite his home, the police officers called him. Armed with guns and cutlasses, he said the officers wore masks and were dressed in tactical and camouflage clothing.
“I was coming from my uncle dam and I see some police on the road and they say, ‘youth man come,’ and I walk across and I said good evening they say what you going. I say I now coming from my uncle dam and then he asked me my age and I say 16. They say you is a youth man. I say yeah. Hear them, ‘so why you have to be acting so rude.’ I say ‘I normal.’ Hear them, ‘Yuh body language alone showing me your rudeness,” the teenager said.
He said one of the officers then began pulling at his short pants.
“One of them come and was pulling up my pants. I say, ‘wait, I will pull up my pants for myself.’ Then after that, a set of them start to surround me and while them surrounding me, one of them that was in front of me put a blade on my forehead,” he said
The teenager said he became afraid and began walking towards his home. “They was calling me back but I in pain, my head hurting me. I see blood. I never get buss head before so I run.”
He said his 64-year-old grandmother took him for medical treatment and then to the Santa Flora Police Station to file a report.
Vargas, who was not at home when the incident took place, said she intends to make a complaint to the Police Complaints Authority and the Professional Standards Bureau.
“I am feeling hurt. I am very displaced about the Police Service, they is to protect and service and they chop a minor. That is a minor in his head.”
Vargas is asking Police Commissioner Gary Griffith to intervene. “I want some answers for this chop my son get on his head. I want to know the reason why they chop a minor and I need some justice for my son.”
Contacted about the incident, South Western Division Senior Supt Brandon John said he was not aware of the report.
However, he said once the report was made it would be investigated. But, TTPS’s corporate communications manager Francis Joseph said he checked the police records database but found no report on the incident. Guardian Media also reached out to the Commissioner via Whatsapp Messager but got no response up to late yesterday