Three cops get six months each for abusing a suspect

WILLEMSTAD - Three Curaçao policemen who allegedly mistreated detainees were each sentenced to ten months in prison, of which four are suspended. They are also banned from serving as law enforcement officers for a period of five years.
 
Both parties have two weeks to appeal. The prosecution had demanded 18 months in the cell for Anouk de la Chiques, Howard Antersijn and Elvis Samboe for two separate cases of abuse against people they took into custody on September 5, 2011.
 
The judge did not consider both cases proven and therefore reduced the jail time, but felt a five-year functional ban was appropriate. The sentences therefore only relate to the September 5 incident involving the man P. in Jandoret.
 
"The suspects misused their position and therefore seriously damaged the image and integrity of the Police Corps. This has also violated the trust society should be able to have in police officers. By being co-authors of this act and due to their deceitful behaviour, the profession of police official has been brought in to discredit," the judge stated.
 
The September 5 case involved a rental dispute between landlord P. and tenant W. The man was mistreated on his property, in the patrol car (number 21), at the Koredor Boulevard and again at the Molenplein Police Station in Otrobanda, while he was handcuffed behind his back. The officers also forced him to give them the NAf. 400 deposit.
 
The policemen first denied even being at Koredor, but GPS data on the vehicle proved they were lying. They said they did so because they had been afraid of reappraisals from the corps command.
 
The judge also sentenced the trio to pay P. a total of NAf. 8,400 for legal costs and material damages.
 
In the other case, the judge considered it a fact that force had been used against G. during his arrest on September 2, resulting in, among others things, broken ribs. However, the claim that he was mistreated while already handcuffed both in the car and at the police station could not be proven, nor was it supported by the statements of his ex-wife and her sister.
NAPB police union President Ronaldo Abraham thinks there is not enough guidance for officers by more experienced colleagues to help prevent these kinds of excesses. "We need a policy to detect problems so they can seek help before things go wrong," he said.

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