Wed | Aug 16, 2017

Commission probes medical report

Published:Saturday | May 30, 2015 | 5:00 AMLivern Barrett

Despite a medical report that details the condition of a Tivoli Gardens resident while he was being held at one of two detention centres established during the 2010 police-military operations in his west Kingston community, the police officer who was in charge of the facility has testified that the man had no injuries when he was released.

Maurice Tomlinson, a married father of three, gave evidence before the West Kingston Commission of Enquiry last year that he was taken to the detention centre, located at the Mobile Reserve Division in St Andrew, on the night of May 24, 2010, with his head bloodied, two fractured ribs, and a swollen face - the result of a beating he got from members of the security forces.

Two days later, Tomlinson said police personnel took him to the Kingston Public Hospital (KPH), where a doctor gave him two Panadol tablets and chased him away.

The long-time Tivoli Gardens resident said he remained at the detention centre with the injuries until his release on May 27.

A medical report produced by a doctor who examined him shortly afterwards revealed, among other things, that he had blood in his urine, blunt force trauma to the back with lower back pain, acute cervical strain, blunt chest injury with bone contusion to the seventh, eighth and ninth ribs, blunt abdominal trauma, and recent healing wounds.

Yesterday, Chairman of the Commission Sir David Simmons, indicated that the report "pointed to a prima facie finding that he [Tomlinson] was beaten while in police custody in Tivoli Gardens" before he was taken to the detention centre.

'standing by my conviction'

"But you insist that when you signed him out you saw no evidence of injury?" Simmons asked as Assistant Commissioner of Police Leon Rose responded to questions during cross-examination.

"I maintain that answer. When this individual, whoever he was, was released by me, I am standing by my conviction, based on my own principle, that when I said I saw no injuries that was indeed a fact," replied Rose, who was in charge of the detention centre at Mobile Reserve

In addition, Rose suggested that the issue seemed to be a case for the hospital to explain.

"I'm not a medical doctor, but the litany of injuries that you [Simmons] have read, it seems a case for a hospital. That sounds to me like it requires an investigation at the highest level of the medical profession," the senior cop continued.

Simmons indicated that the issue would be pursued with officials at the KPH.