A cook-shop operator from Lluidas Vale in St Catherine is nursing several bruises and mulling his maiden court appearance after an altercation with a constable attached to Shady Grove Police Station in Lluidas Vale district.
Orville Lyle, better known as Fisher Blue, claimed that the constable used a baton to beat him all over the body during the fracas, which commenced after he missed the 11PM closing time stipulated for businesses under the ongoing State of Emergency (SOE) in St Catherine.
Lyle, charged with resisting arrest, is to appear before the court next month.
The Beacon has been trying – without success – to get the Corporate Communications Unit of the police force to divulge the police version of what transpired on the night of Saturday, October 19.
Lyle, in the meantime, said he enjoyed a cordial relationship with the Lluidas Vale police who, since the SOE was instituted, have been conducting patrols after 11PM to ensure businesses are closed.
His cook-shop is relatively close to the police station. Hence, the police usually tell him to close and move on to patrol the remainder of the rural community. By the time the rest of the community was patrolled and the cops were heading back to their base, the cook-shop would be closed, Lyle explained.
He stated that, on the night of the incident, the police did something different. They stopped at the cook-shop before heading elsewhere, Lyle disclosed.
The young constable who did the alleged beating ordered him to close the cook-shop immediately.
“Him jus drive down and say ‘close off time now Blue‘. Soh mi plug out the light,” Lyle said.
He further claimed that the officer, without good reason, started to ‘drape’ him, which essentially means to hold the front of his shirt close to the neck.
“When mi plug out the light and turn around, mi feel the policeman drape mi an say him going to arrest mi. Soh mi ease him off. Him drape mi again and mi ease him off. Him drape mi about three times an mi ease him off. When mi realize, him start use the baton – whap! whap! whap!” Lyle told The Beacon.
He stated that, after the beating, the cop escorted him to the station, placed him in a cell for the remainder of the night, charged him the following day and granted him bail.
Lyle said he went to a private doctor in Linstead the following day, October 20, adding that he was feeling pain in his shoulders, hip and fingers. He, however, did not suffer any broken bone.
Lyle claimed that the police officer was unusually aggressive on the night in question. “The man deal with me unfairly; the man have something up him sleeve wid the way him approach mi. Him used to support mi and mi support him. Mi a wonder if jealously a get in the game or something.”
Lyle is not yet sure if he will report the matter to the Independent Commission of Investigations, which probes alleged abuses by members of the security forces.
In the meantime, Lyle told The Beacon that he has been in business for more than 30 years and he has been at the current location for nearly two years.
He lamented that this is among the toughest times he has experienced in business, mainly due to the SOE, which has been in effect throughout St Catherine since September 5.
Lyle claimed that the SOE has cut his earnings in half, and the people from whom he takes meat on credit are now being affected.
“People who hustle at night; the SOE cripple our life and is creating a damage on the economy,” he opined.
Lyle added that, while the SOE may be relevant in high-crime areas, it is not necessary for relatively peaceful communities such as Lluidas Vale, where people are now reluctant to even host parties on which they depend for a living.
“This [SOE] should be in crime areas,” Lyle reasoned. “Places like Lluidas Vale that have no crime; wi nuh need this thing here. The government should remember that we have bills to pay also.”
About the author: Horace Mills holds a B.A degree in Media and Communications from the University of the West Indies (CARIMAC). He worked as a freelance writer at Teen Herald while in high school, as a Senior Reporter at The North Coast Times, as Senior Journalist and News Presenter at IRIE FM, and as Editor of the leading news publication in the British Virgin Islands – BVI News. Mills also served as Editor of The Eagle, published by Charlemont High School where he was Head Boy. He is recipient of various awards including the Fairplay Award and the Prime Minister’s National Youth Award for Excellence in Journalism.
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