Police commissioner gives 48 hours for report on beating of mentally ill man
Police Commissioner Owen Ellington has ordered an immediate probe into the circumstances which led to a mentally ill man being beaten to a near vegetative state at the Falmouth police lock-up last month.
The order for a probe into the incident by the police commissioner was prompted by a Sunday Gleaner report today which revealed that 31-year-old Kamoza Clarke is now battling for life in hospital after receiving 'repeated blunt-force trauma to the head'.
A release from the Constabulary Communication Network (CCN) this afternoon says "the commissioner has promised full disclosure as soon as the investigation is complete and has also instructed that a report on the matter be submitted to him within the next 48 hours".
The victim's sister, Olive Hines, told the Sunday Gleaner that he was taken to the Falmouth police lock-up after being arrested and charged with malicious destruction of property.
According to the sister, Clarke was involved in a fight with a cellmate, which reportedly sparked the beating. Clarke reportedly refused to return to the cell after the fight and demanded to see a doctor. He reportedly held on to the bars of the holding cell, insisting that he got medical attention.
Police personnel on duty reportedly inflict blows to Clarke's hands and head in order to have him conform and return to his cell.
He reportedly lost consciousness as a result and was taken to the Falmouth hospital. His condition deteriorated and he was transferred to the Cornwall Regional Hospital in Montego Bay where he had to be placed on life support.
Head of the Trelawny police, Superintendent Dermot Lawrence, confirmed to the Sunday Gleaner that a baton was used to subdue Clarke while in lock-up. He, however, could not speak to the mental fitness of Clarke.
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