By FARRAH JOHNSON
Tribune Staff Reporter
A SECOND person who claimed police tortured him at the Governor’s Harbour Police Station for a crime for which he was never charged, yesterday said the incident not only caused him injury but contributed to him experiencing considerable financial loss.
Dale Gibson, Jr, Chavette Strachan and Kenton Fines said they were handcuffed, beaten and fish-bagged after police arrested them in connection with an armed robbery and shooting incident that occurred at the C and AA Service Station in Palmetto Point, Eleuthera in January 2018.
The trio were later released from police custody without being charged. However, they were told that the time had expired for their matter to be addressed by the Royal Bahamas Police Force, despite the timely complaints that they had made. Now, they are seeking damages for the inhumane treatment they alleged they endured while being detained.
When he was cross-examined yesterday, Mr Gibson told the court that he sought medical treatment at Rock Sound Clinic the day after he was released from custody because he had bruises all over his hands, neck, legs and feet after officers “bagged” him and hit him in his side and back.
He also said when he was released from custody, his “breathing was not as healthy” as before.
“The police didn’t ask if I had a health problem or anything, they just proceeded with all of their abuse,” he said. “One of my lungs was punctured when I was 19 after I got robbed and somebody take my chain and stabbed me up. I had lung problems after that and I had a training tube to learn how to breathe again because my lungs were filled with blood.”
Mr Gibson said while he “always had breathing problems”, they were never as “severe” before the alleged attack by police.
“That whole week my chest was hurting,” he continued. “All along it didn’t hurt, it just gave a little sharp sticking, but after that, it was hurting. It was a real sharp sticking in my chest then. I also complained (to the doctor) about my neck, ribs and back—all the spots that they hit me. He gave me a prescription for painkillers and then marked all the spots that were bruised and injured.”
Mr Gibson said his reputation has been tarnished as a result of the officers’ actions, causing him to suffer financial and relationship loss.
He said he was formerly a private home caretaker with multiple sources of income, but after his arrest he lost all of his “extra jobs”.
“I had more sources of income before this incident, but after I get into all of these problems the people tell me they don’t want no thieves to work for them,” he explained. “Everybody let me go, except my aunty and I lost two contracts of the yards on the side of her house.”
He added: “I lose my wife too and all her family (because) they told me they don’t want to have nothing to do with no thieves, so I lose everything. I ain’t just lose my job, I lose everything. They post (the allegations) online and everybody look at me as a thief after that. Ain’t nobody wanted to give me no job.”
It was then suggested to him that he had not suffered any damage to his reputation or financial loss as a result of being arrested. Mr Gibson said he would have to “disagree” with that assertion because when he tried to regain his clientele after the incident, he was turned away.
Mr Fines is the third person who alleged police beat him and poured hot sauce in his eyes while he was in custody. He was also scheduled to give evidence during yesterday’s proceedings, however, his attorney, Fred Smith, QC, said he wanted the Crown’s defence “struck out” before he allowed his client to take the stand.
Mr Smith argued that the Crown’s failure to make discovery denied Mr Fines the opportunity to properly prepare for his trial.
Justice Loren Klein said he would deliver his ruling on Mr Smith’s application after he reviewed the submissions from both sides.
The matter is set to resume on November 29.