Cops probe Champs pepper spray incident
The Inspectorate of Constabulary said it will launch an investigation into an incident at the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls' Athletics Championships on Saturday, where cops allegedly pepper sprayed a group consisting of mostly students, without due cause.
An eyewitness, Marlon Campbell, told THE STAR the incident unfolded at the ticketing booth between 4 and 5 p.m., where persons apparently become anxious after hearing there was a ticket shortage.
"I was standing there when the tickets arrived and there was some jostling and shoving right there, nothing much. And then the next thing I see is that a khaki-uniformed police and a blue denim police pull a pepper spray, and they sprayed right into the crowd that had mostly kids that were there trying to get tickets. Several kids got it full flushed in their faces," Campbell explained.
Upon seeing what was transpiring, Campbell said he stood appalled for a moment, before it called to mind that he should record the ordeal. By then, he only managed to capture the aftermath, which he has shared on his social media page.
"They [the police] were pushing and shoving like they were trying to herd the people like cattle. I caught some of the kids who had got sprayed. There was one girl crying from the pepper spray. One guy was trying to wash his face off which you shouldn't do because that just makes it worse," Campbell recalled.
The video was shared online yesterday, and within hours, it racked up thousands of views, with many expressing outrage at the cops' alleged actions, particularly considering they were dealing with minors.
Assistant Commissioner of police Wray Palmer told THE STAR he was unaware of the incident, but said it would not generally be the norm for police to pepper spray a crowd consisting primarily of students.
"Somebody would have to be at risk of being injured or you want to bring a boisterous and unruly crowd under control. Pepper spray is a less lethal weapon, rather than using a fire arm or baton, it would be quite effective in that scenario," he said, adding that he will investigate the situation to get the truth of what transpired.