Assault incident probed

National, Normal

The National, Thursday 23rd May 2013

 POLICE in the National Capital District will investigate a complaint that a police officer had assaulted a group of people in custody at the Gordon police cells.

A correspondence from NCD metropolitan commander Supt Andy Bawa, dated May 13, 2013, to the complainant Apel Pote stated that if internal investigations found any misconduct on the officer’s part, he would be seriously dealt with.

The complaint had stemmed from an incident at the back of the Gordon police station on Jan 13 this year.

According to John Pote, one of those allegedly assaulted in the incident, families, friends and close relatives had gathered that morning for a peace mediation event to resolve an incident between a group of people and the Pote family. 

“In the first mediation the previous week, all parties had agreed that our differences be resolved through the exchange of some money,” he said. 

“However, one group was not prepared to make the exchange so we all agreed that they be given until Jan 27 to find the money.”

He said as people were leaving, a stranger (later identified as a policeman) shouted at them to “come back and resolve the matter once and for all”.

Pote said when he approached the man and tried to explain what they had agreed to do, he was punched in the face before he attacked other relatives and friends.

“Policemen in uniform and others joined in and attacked us with whatever they could lay their hands on. Many of my family members were injured and required medical treatment.

“Some of us were then rounded up and thrown into the Gordon police cells, and were later beaten up again.

“For five days (Jan 13-17), our families were not allowed to visit us or provide us food. Our attackers demanded that we pay them K100,000 in compensation. 

“On Jan 17, we were released without being charged,” Pote said.