A Belize City woman was locked up at the Queen Street Police Station last weekend and has come to Love News to complain of the unsanitary and inhumane treatment she received whilst in police custody. 21-year-old Brittney Johnston was taken into custody at the Queen Street police station on October 9 and was detained for five days. Johnston complained of inadequate space for sleeping and unsanitary drinking water stored in a garbage bin. She added that a simple request to use a proper restroom facility was denied to her by a Police Sergeant.
Johnston’s complaints did not end there as she added that amid the Covid-19 pandemic the officers did not offer any hand sanitizers or adequate facilities for hand washing.
Brittney Johnston: “When it comes to food. You get your food- they already don’t provide anything to wash your hand, you have to beg for that like I tell you. I had to save my $1.50 water bottles that they brought water for me to put pipe water and soapy water to wash my hands and things like that. When they bring your your food they take out the spoon and the fork because they say they don’t know what people might want to do to each other or whether you might want to damage the bathroom and those kinds of things but I said “Madaz unu done noh di provide thing fi wash our hand how you expect us to eat with our hands?” We’re already not bathing because you can’t bathe in a bathroom like that. How will you expect someone to eat with their hands and their hands aren’t even being washed and you’re staying in a place like that ? I was there for five days I felt like I was getting crazy. Knowing some officers watch you and they will tell you to use that bathroom they don’t care. They will tell you to eat like that, you have to eat like dogs. I’m swearing to you you have to eat like a dog because you know your hands are dirty. They have it on the wall in the holding cell anybody who is committing a crime it doesn’t matter what crime they commit at the end of the day they are still a human, they should get treated with respect do you understand me? We don’t get that. Few police officers do those things. I swear to you if they didn’t have those good officers I don’t know what would happen, maybe this is the whole reason why people that go back there for a time destroy the cells because nobody pays them mind, nobody gives them call, nobody accepts thing for them. Sometimes they say they accept food and you don’t get any food — they send you food, that is how bad minded some police are. I see a lot of people go through a lot, a lot of people go out for nothing just because people couldn’t bail them. The system is messed up. The mental patient I said madaz, a guy that used to work at those mental spot he is telling them that that is a mental patient and that they are not to bring mental patients in there. The lady is bawling out, when I tell you bawling out that she is not used to this, she needs to bathe, she’s hungry, she’s thirsty. When we heard we heard a big something hard hit against a steel when you look now the pipe for the bathroom was broken; she broke it because she said she needs to bathe, she’s hungry. When I got my food I gave her half of my food I sent it for her because I know the lady is hungry even though she’s somebody who might have a mental problem or something I’m still trying to look out for the lady because I can imagine how she must be feeling. A police officer came in and she was talking when all the water if flooding out there she’s talking about she’s not used to this, she wants to bathe and she keeps saying it and the lady told her “Bathe with that water that’s on the floor. You caused this mess.” I said imagine you’re telling somebody that and they already have a mental problem.”
Johnston is set to meet with a Human Rights Attorney on Friday to see how they will proceed with this matter.