ZOSO cops under fire - Accused of ripping out woman’s braids
The police maintained a strong presence in Denham Town on Thursday after residents threatened to mount road blocks to protest alleged police abuse against a female resident on Wednesday night.
When THE WEEKEND STAR visited the area yesterday, the woman, Ophelia Abrahams, was just returning from the hospital.
She was surrounded by an angry crowd, consisting of mostly females. Some burst into tears after she removed her cap to show her now almost bald head, which she said was caused by her braids being yanked from her scalp by a female cop.
In addition to a swelling in her head, Abrahams had several bruises and swelling on her face, neck, back, chest, side and buttocks. She has vowed that she will be seeking legal representation.
According to Abrahams, she was at home when she heard a banging on her grille.
“Mi a look through the window and see the police dem shine light thru the house and a demand mi to open the grille. Mi did inna mi panty and brassiere alone and me ask dem why mi must open the grille and mi and them no have nothing. Mi go back in a the room go lay down and mi hear the grille start pull and the door start kick in. Mi get up and ask dem what mi door do dem, why dem a kick it down so. And the police woman just gi mi one lick inna mi face,” she said.
Abrahams said that she raised her hand to protect herself.
“It look like mi hand craab her when mi a put it up in defence and dem start beat mi and kick mi up and a say how mi a fight off the police and a resist arrest. Dem a step on me and the police woman start a kick mi in mi face. She hold on to my hair and root out everything off mi head. Mi hair did cane row in and she pull it out,” she added.
“Dem drop a bag a charge on me and say mi a resist arrest and assault police. How mi alone could a go try beat up police and why dem would try arrest me and mi nuh do anything wrong?” she said.
Some residents believe Abrahams’ incident is linked to another that happened earlier on Wednesday.
“Some people did a fling bottle and stones after each other and after it stop, some other people did deh at a shop and dem (police) come spray the place and fire four shot in the air. I guess dem did wa everybody go in them house but after that dem start do house to house search and a so dem go a the girl house go beat her off,” a woman said.
Abrahams said that she was only given a chance to tell her story to an officer at the Denham Town Police Station, who told a colleague to transport her to the Kingston Public Hospital where she received treatment.
The police’s Corporate Communications Unit (CCU) released a statement on Thursday night, saying that two police officers assigned to the ZOSO in western Kingston were injured following an incident on Upper Regent Street.
The CCU said that five persons were subsequently arrested and charged in relation to the incident.
The police said Abrahams was charged with: assault occasioning bodily harm, unlawful wounding, indecent and calumnious language, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, and stone throwing.
Nyron Forrester, Meika Duncan, Valrie Hinds and Angella Braithwaite, all of Upper Regent Street, were also charged with disorderly conduct and stone throwing.
The CCU reports that about 8:30 p.m., a police team was on patrol when they observed a group of persons in breach of the 6 p.m. curfew order.
The police said they approached them but were met with verbally abusive language and stone throwing. A female corporal and a constable were injured during the incident.