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Man claims police brutality

A businessman yesterday called on Police Commissioner Ellison Greenslade to investigate claims of police brutality involving one of his employees.

Reno Deveaux, operator of Reno Water Sports on Market Street and Bimini Avenue, toldThe Nassau Guardianthat William Canter was arrested last Tuesday for suspicion of breaking into his(Deveaux’s)mother’s house.

Deveaux, who is a former police officer, said Canter was”beaten until he was unconscious.”

Inspector Ricardo Richardson, who said he is familiar with the arrest, said he had no knowledge of anyone being beaten while in police custody last week. He said Canter needs to make a complaint with the police’s Complaints Unit so that the matter can be properly investigated.

“Once he files his complaint an investigation will be carried out,” the inspector said.

Deveaux said Canter intends to file a complaint this week.

Canter, who had stitches over one of his eyes and bruises on his stomach and back, said he was arrested on December 14 and taken to the Quakoo Street Police Station by two officers. He said he was later taken out of the cell and led to a room.

“They(two officers)handcuffed my two hands to each side of the desk. And the big officer started[hitting]me with the baseball bat in my belly,”Canter claimed.

“[The officer]said’Talk, talk. Say you[did]it.’But I don’t know anything about that.”

He also claimed that he was beaten with a broomstick while he was handcuffed.

Canter said he was beaten so severely that he had to be taken to the Accident nd Emergency Section of the Princess Margaret Hospital by ambulance.

Canter provided evidence of his doctor’s visit.

He said he was arrested on the day he was scheduled to paint Deveaux’s mother’s Stapeldon house.

It was also the day someone broke into it.

Neighbors reportedly phoned the police and alerted them about the break-in.

Deveaux said he does not believe Canter is guilty of breaking into his mother’s house. He said Canter called him shortly after he arrived at the residence as Deveaux’s mother was not there.

Shortly after that, police arrived, according to Deveaux.

He said when the police arrived he told Canter to leave because he was not involved.

Canter said that shortly after that he was picked up by police.

Deveaux said his mother believes that Canter broke into her house.

When asked what was stolen, Deveaux said nothing was missing. However, his mother’s door was knocked in.

“I’m here today to speak about the(alleged)police brutality so that the commissioner of police can investigate this matter and deal with it pronto,”Deveuax said.”I know the commissioner’s hands are full and he’s a good man. I’m quite sure that he’ll deal with this to a satisfactory point.”

Allegations of police brutality have become commonplace in the courts this year.

Assistant Commissioner of Police Hulan Hanna toldThe Guardianearlier this week that no police policy permits the beating of suspects as they are considered innocent until proven guilty.

One defense lawyer said that in nearly every case that he has dealt with clients allege that police have coerced confessions through brutality, either through beatings or restricting breathing by placing bags over suspects’heads.

Another lawyer said,”The only thing they have linking suspects to crimes are confessions, which are usually coerced. You won’t find any CSI here.”

Hanna said,”No police officer has the right or authority to arbitrarily inflict bodily harm on anyone who is in lawful police custody.”

Hanna said police cannot investigate these allegations in the absence of formal complaints. He said the Police Complaints and Corruption Unit is responsible for investigations into misconduct.

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