Police raid D'Urban St apartments
Take away two women By Samantha Alleyne

Stabroek News
October 29, 2002

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Three families in a D'Urban St apartment building are lamenting the actions of police ranks who they claim kicked down their doors and arrested two young women for no apparent reason.

Stabroek News was told yesterday that the heavily armed ranks rushed into the three apartments at Lot 17 D'Urban Street stating that they were looking for a bandit. Attempts to reach the police public relations department on the raid were unsuccessful.

The occupants of two of the apartments were not at home at the time and the officers reportedly kicked down their doors and ransacked their homes. The building is divided into three, two apartments at the bottom and one at the top.

In the top apartment the policemen kicked down both the front and back doors and tumbled clothes and other items in a wardrobe and chest of drawers in a bedroom.

While in one of the bottom apartments, the policemen kicked the door open even though they were told that the occupants were not at home. They did not enter.

In the second apartment the ranks kicked open the door behind which were two screaming women along with a number of children who were also screaming because of the officers' presence. A very ill woman was also said to be in the home.

It was from this apartment the officers arrested the two women and took them down to Brickdam Police Station where up to late yesterday afternoon they were still being held. The women, both of whom are said to be in their early twenties, were said to be undergoing extensive questioning. One of the women does not live in the apartment but is a neighbour. She was forced to leave her screaming niece with strangers after being taken away by the police.

In the same apartment the policemen took a number of photographs of family members along with three telephones, a cellular, a cordless and an ordinary house phone.

The mother of one of the girls who were arrested said that she was told that the policemen were asking questions about a Lethem call that was recorded on the caller ID.

"Me man call me from Lethem and they asking questions about that," the woman said.

She said that the officers took photographs of her son and her reputed husband, and she questioned the purpose of their actions.

"We ent have no bandits in we house, why deh kicking down we doors? Me daughter never involve in anything illegal, why deh arrest her foh?" the woman asked.

The families, who preferred their names not to be mentioned, said they could not say why the law enforcement officers would want to target them since none of them are involved in any illegal activities.

A woman, who claimed to have witnessed it all, said she was in the same apartment from which the women were arrested when she saw three vanloads of police driving past the house.

She said a few seconds later she decided to leave but as she did she saw the policemen return and stop their vehicles in front of the home. They then entered the yard and started kicking down the doors even though they were told that no one was at home.

By this time the women and the children in the other apartment were screaming and the policemen with their guns at the ready called out to them to open the door. The policemen then kicked down the door, searched for a few seconds, took the photographs and telephones and ordered the young women into the vehicle.

The families concluded that the police actions could have been a spin-off from all the shooting activity during the early morning.

Seven persons were killed in several shooting incidents in the city and on the East Coast.