Pressure mounts on family of man beaten by cops

Published: Sunday | December 8, 2013 Comments 0
Kamoza Clarke
Kamoza Clarke

Erica Virtue, Senior Gleaner Writer

Although medical officials at the Cornwall Regional Hospital have warned the family of a man allegedly badly beaten by the police that he would remain a vegetable and eventually die, they are clinging to hope and praying that he will make a full recovery.

But while they wait, the emotional pressure has taken a heavy toll on family members of Kamoza Clarke.

He is the 31-year-old mentally ill man of Bunker's Hill, Trelawny, who the police said fell and hit his head, but who jailhouse footage showed being beaten by the police at the Falmouth Police Station in October.

Last week, his sister Olive Hines told The Sunday Gleaner that the family is wilting under the pressure as her brother remains in a vegetative state.

"I don't have to pay any hospital fees because the health care is free. But they asked me if I could take Kamoza home," alleged Hines.

"But I asked, how would I take him home ... and I said, how would I take care of him? And they said 'I could hire a nurse'," charged Hines.

"I told them it couldn't work, because we couldn't cope. Then I told them that the police need to take care of him, because they brought him there and they can hire a nurse.

"I told them I love my brother and would be willing to do everything I can to help him, but considering the situation, and since the state agencies did this to him, they should take care of him."

She made it clear that the hospital is not insisting that they take home the injured man but, rather, a medical official made a suggestion.

Hines said her brother remains under police guard in the hospital, and at times when family members visit they are asked numerous questions before being allowed to see him.

BIGGEST LOSERS

According to Hines, his children are the biggest losers in this tragedy as they have not seen him since October.

"The two small ones, one and a half and six years old, respectively, are not so aware of what is going on. The one affected mostly is the one attending high school. I have not allowed him to see his dad like that. They don't allow children under 12 years old to come to the hospital," she said.

Clarke was arrested and charged with malicious destruction of property following a series of incidents involving his child's mother and her relatives.

He was taken to the Falmouth police lock-up where he was involved in a fight with a cellmate. It was there that the beating allegedly took place.

The Trelawny police admitted that pepper spray and the baton were used to restrain him, but claimed he fell and hit his head. The matter is being investigated by the Independent Commission of Investigations.


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