'Sardine' beaten

'Sardine' beaten

TMC launches investigation into alleged lashing of handcart vendor

Observer West reporter

Thursday, February 27, 2020

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FALMOUTH, Trelawny —The Trelawny Municipal Corporation (TMC) has launched an investigation into the alleged beating of handcart operator Roy Scarlett by a member of the municipal police team on Monday. The incident was caught on a video, which has now gone viral.

“They (municipal police) must prepare statements and then we will be able to take it further and if needs take the necessary disciplinary action,” said Councillor C Junior Gager, chairman of the TMC, when asked about the altercation which reportedly took place in Falmouth.

“We have received the video. As a municipal corporation we must say that I am very sorry that something like this has taken place within the town and the municipality. It is early days yet, but we will be calling meetings.”

Scarlett, popularly known as 'Sardine', claimed he was sitting on Falmouth Street when he was approached by members of the municipal police when one of them accused him of behaving tough. He said he refused their order to remove his handcart from the area.

“Mi sit down pon Falmouth Street in front of the supermarket when they come around there one of them turned to me and say 'how all the while you go on like you a badman suh'. Me turn to him and sey 'leave me alone' and they turned and said 'move the cart from here.' And I told him this is where I park all the while and unno sey the mayor sey no cart should not be parked in the square (Water Square)' and I moved and come down here. So me tell them me not moving it,” Scarlett told the Jamaica Observer West.

He claimed that after that all hell broke loose as members of the municipal police cut the rope from his cart and was about to turn it over when a struggle ensued between himself and a member of the municipal police, who used a baton to inflict blows all over his body.

“They cut off the rope and started beat me and turn over mi cart and a draw mi and sey them going carry me go lock me up. Mi ask dem feh wah, feh wah? And the crowd come down and them left me.

All the while dem see me, dem terrorise me, tell me say fe move from yah suh. And the last time him see me him tell me feh move me cart off the road and go home go park it. Me turn to him and sey how me eat food if me park mi cart? Him sey 'him don't business with that, but him don't want to see me around here with my cart.”

On Tuesday, Member of Parliament for Trelawny Northern Victor Wright accompanied Scarlett to the police station to report the incident.

“I am here [at Falmouth Police Station] with him to give his report to the police because he reported to me that when he came yesterday [Monday] to get a letter to go to the doctor, he was refused a letter. So I have since spoken to the deputy superintendent and he is making arrangement, so that is why I am here at the station now,” Wright explained.

The MP stated that he will also secured the services of an attorney to represent his constituent, if it becomes necessary.

“I have also spoken to a lawyer that will be giving him legal advice and representation if it comes to that,” Wright stressed.

He suggested that the actions of municipal police cannot be tolerated and expressed the need for the municipal corporation to have their employees trained to interact with the public.

Meanwhile, Gager told reporters that the municipal corporation is restricting vending in the town.

“The municipal corporation has made Market Street a no vending area. Officer's Alley is the street where fruits are being sold. All other areas are out of bounds for selling,” Gager said.

But Scarlett claims that he is the only handcart operator targeted by the municipal police.

“Just mi alone him deal with suh all the while, just me alone. Them [municipal police] don't deal with nobody else so,” he claimed.

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