As Damages From Assault
By Mustapha Jallow / Assan Bah
Sheriff Camara, a Banjulian rapper also known as Chipa Yi, on Thursday asked the authority of the Gambia Police Force (GPF) to pay him an amount of D45, 300 in damages after he was beaten up mercilessly by a team of paramilitary officers in December 2021.
The damages he claimed, included the costs of a silver bangle at D4500, a Rolex watch worth $700 (estimated to D37, 000), silver chain worth D2, 500 and all medical bills including X-ray, costing D1,300.
The National Human Commission (NHRC) had told this medium that the 4 officers, who were involved in assaulting the musician, were found guilty and disciplinary measures were taken against them by the police high command. But he said not enough has been done by the police in serving the justice that he needed and he felt that the police refused to give him the investigation report after he requested a copy.
“Police said they will discipline those officers, but since then, I haven’t heard anything from them,’’ he said.
“I was the one treating myself. The officers caused serious wounds to my body during the beating. They also destroyed my watch, chain, bangle and latest Itel phone.’’
According to the musician, the police also failed to take him to a hospital or provide him medication after he reported the incident to them. He thanked his mother who provided him support to buy extra medicines.
“So, what I want now, is for them (police) to pay the damages they caused and for violating my fundamental human rights,’’ he said.
“It is sad to see our men in uniform brutalizing their own citizens they are supposed to protect. If this was me assaulting officers, they would arrest and take me to court. But since it is not in their favor, they will say those officers have been disciplined. The officers were hitting me as if am a mad person. I’m still feeling the pain in my back.’’
The deputy spokesperson of the Police was contacted and he referred this medium to the spokesperson for comment on the matter. But the spokesperson’s phone kept ringing without any answer.
It could be recalled that the NHRC’s investigator said the Police indicated to them in their report that the action of the officers was due to a mistaken identity but was nonetheless unjustifiable and unprofessional.
The rapper claimed that he was attacked and beaten up by a team of PIU officers on 12th December 2021, around 2 am. The incident, he added, was later reported to both Police and NHRC for action to be taken against the said officers, but the rapper said he was not satisfied with the manner the case was handled by these two institutions.