Some residents of Crooked Tree village are alleging that they were victims of brutality under the Gang Suppression Unit. Reporter Patrick Jones is in the village and filed the following report.
Senior News Reporter
“Residents of Crooked Tree Village are outraged over a series of beat downs allegedly at the hands of the Gang Suppression Unit overnight. Love News have talked to men and minors who say they were about their usual routines last night when a group of police officers descended on them with a vengeance. One young man could barely speak and claims he lost his voice after he was choked unconscious after the attack. Opting to withhold his name for fear of retaliation, the young man says he was handcuffed and repeatedly asked for information about gang activity in the village. Throughout his ordeal, the young man told Love News that he kept telling the officers that he knew of no gang operation in Crooked Tree Village. Scratches and bruises on his head, neck and chin are the result of his encounter with the police last night. Another young man says he was beaten and dragged by the hair and to add insult to injury he was undressed by the GSU and pepper-sprayed on his genitals. Counted among the victims of last night’s GSU operation in Crooked Tree Village is 30-year-old, Devin Swasey. D Budd as he is affectionately known in this community was recently in a battle for his life after he was bitten by a crocodile. D Budd was at the basketball court last night and even he did not escape the brutal beat down which landed him back in the hospital last night. When Love News arrived at his home this morning, Swasey was still at the Orange Walk Town Hospital where he was taken for emergency medical treatment. Lavern Crawford told Love News that when she was informed that her son was among the victims of the GSU operation, she arrived at the basketball court to find all the young men including under aged boys who were just practicing for an upcoming weekend tournament, laid out on the cement and in one instance an officer tazering two of them. Crawford said she intervened using language too colorful for the midday news and asked the officers why they were treating the young men in that cruel fashion and that the GSU officers just up and left without saying anything. Last night’s incident has left a sense of bitterness and anger and overall resentment for the way in which the GSU conducted its business in Crooked Tree, a village with no known problem of gang violence or crime.”
Late this evening Police Press Officer Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood told Love News that the aggrieved Crooked Tree residents should make their complaints at the Police Special Branch office situated at the Raccoon Street Police Station.
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