Resident is left black and blue

The youngster now fears the police after he was allegedly assaulted.

NEWCASTLE – Police are often in the front line to protect residents from harm. But what happens when they turn rogue?

Opting to remain anonymous out of fear of retribution, a 19-year-old man was allegedly assaulted by a police officer on Friday night, November 11.

Read: Corruption scandal rocks UKZN

“My friends and I were on our way home after a few drinks, when we were involved in a crash on Harding Street.”

He was allegedly knocked out by the impact, but regained consciousness a few minutes later.

“When I woke up, I saw the police were there and I climbed out the car. One of them asked me who was driving when the accident took place.”

Admitting he had consumed alcohol, and was disorientated after the collision, the man told the police he was not certain who had been driving.

“The officer kept on asking me and I got a bit verbal with him, telling him I did not know.”

Allegedly, the policeman pushed the youngster into the back of the police van, where another police officer was waiting.

“I was slapped around repeatedly by the police officer, before he climbed out and left me in the van.”

The police apparently spoke to the man’s friends, summoned an ambulance for them, before letting them go. Allegedly, the man in the police van was denied medical assistance.

“Afterwards, they asked me who my family was. When I told them, they seemed a bit nervous, as one of my uncles is a police officer and my dad was one too.”

Also read: Here’s what you can do about corruption…

Only then they allegedly offered to call an ambulance for him.

“They asked if they should contact an ambulance for me or take me to my uncle’s home. I opted to be taken to my uncle.”

The man claimed the route to his uncle’s residence was dismal, causing him much pain.

“They drove as if they intended to hurt me more.”

Left in his uncle’s care, the youngster said the officers phoned his mother the following morning and asked the family to not open a case or go public.

“The only reason I did not open a case, was because my dad told me that if I opened a case and won, it would change my life forever. I would have to be scared of what the police could do.”

However, he believed people should know what some police officers were doing.

“I had just been involved in a collision, so they could have hurt me even more by assaulting me. If they hit me like that, how many others haven’t they hurt? They take their power for granted. The only reason they hit me is because they knew I could not fight back and nothing would happen,” he said.

SAPS Corporate Communications Officer, Lizzy Arumugam said the police officer had no right to assault the man and the matter would be investigated. She encouraged the man to report the incident to the police station, and state in the charge that he was being victimised.

“A criminal case is applicable to anyone, including police officers. The matter can go to court and the procedure would be the same as for any other person,” she concluded.

  AUTHOR
Quinton Boucher
Journalist

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