‘Police did not beat streetkids’

‘Police did not beat streetkids’
    Barbara Cole
    July 07 2008 at 01:01PM

Metro Police who have been accused of beating a group of street children with sjamboks did not assault them, a witness has said.

"The police are blamed for many things, but those police officials did not hit the street children," said a flat-owner, who did not want her name revealed, but whose details are known to the Daily News.

She was reacting to a story in the Daily News in which British holidaymaker Joe Walker, who works for a children’s rights organisation in the UK, said that he looked out of his flat window in Grosvenor Court and saw billowing smoke and terrified children at the site of the former military museum on Snell Parade.

"I raced outside and across to the hillock opposite the museum and saw three Metro police officials lashing out at the children with sjamboks," he said.

Walker said he tried to intervene and asked the police to extinguish the fire.

"The three police officials were extremely menacing and threatened me with imprisonment," he said.

But the Daily News reader, who watched the proceedings from her flat in the nearby Caribbean block of flats, was adamant that while the police burned the children’s rubbish, plastic and cardboard, they did not hurt them.

The children, whom she thought were aged between 12 and 18 years, had been in the same area for weeks, hanging up their clothes, urinating and littering the area. They also used a nearby tap and left it running, she said.

Walker could not be contacted on Sunday night.

After Walker’s complaints, Metro Police spokesperson Senior Superintendent Thokamile Tyala said an investigation would be launched.

 o This article was originally published on page 2 of Daily News on July 07, 2008

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