A man who was allegedly mistreated by police officers at the Cantonment police station in February last year despite passing the breathalyzer test recently presented his experience, after failed attempts to ask the police for an explanation. about the incident.
The man, who suffered physical injuries and suffered mental trauma after his ordeal, went to OCD for what had happened to him after police closed his case and shunned him by the mainstream media due to of the sensitive nature of the issue exactly one year ago.
His request for assistance was received in silence by Home Secretary K Shanmugam after the minister assured the nation that the Home Office will take disciplinary action against any police officer who is involved in any form of misconduct in the exercise of its functions.
A roadblock in Boon Keng in the early hours of the morning of February 14 last year was the starting point of the man’s nightmare when he was arrested and later taken to the Cantonment police station. the blood alcohol test performed at the time was not conclusive.
Before that, he had dinner at a Geylang cafe with his friends. Later, his friends had suggested going to a pub, as it was the night before Valentine’s Day.
“I said okay, but I told them I would drive, that I wouldn’t drink,” he told OCD.
They went to the pub around 1 in the morning. While his friends were consuming alcohol, the man said he simply “enjoyed his company.”
However, just as the pub was closing, the man’s friends convinced him to drink.
“So I think I took a glass or two of beer and then we waited until the lights came on again and we went home.”
“I came back as usual … I could still control the wheels,” he said.
After the man was arrested at the road barrier near his home, he was told his car would be towed and police would take him to the station to do a second test at the station.
“I told them I only had one or two glasses. He was still pretty sober. I didn’t create any scenes, I didn’t argue with them, “he said.
However, according to the man, police officers insisted on taking him to the Cantonment police station for further evidence.
He noted that none of the police officers present at the Boon Keng roadblock and that he had stopped him had escorted him to the Cantonment police station.
The man also received an incomplete questionnaire to retrieve when officers should have been stored in the ravine.
“He was just a police van driver and then another guy … I chatted with him, I think he’s a Cisco officer,” he said.
The man arrived at the Cantonment police station around 4 in the morning.
He described the officer who treated him during the multiple breathalyzer test as “very nice.”
After the fourth round of testing, the man passed the test at the station.
“The receipt (printed) (showing) the result. The agent told me, “It’s 31.” I asked him, what does 31 mean? He said 31 want to pass, ”he said.
Although he was initially assured that he could leave in half an hour, several police officers threw him into a padded cell despite his vigorous protests, stressing that he suffers from claustrophobia.
“When they took me to a small room, they didn’t specifically tell me they had arrested me,” he said.
According to the man’s estimate, six to eight officers had allegedly manipulated him after he was pushed into the cell, handcuffed to a wheelchair.
He was then allegedly forced into the cell and nailed to the floor of the said cell.
“A girl was using her elbow on my neck … I really couldn’t breathe. They started kicking me, using unnecessary force. A guy (I don’t know who) stepped on me,” he recalled.
This resulted in injuries that were documented in a medical examination that happened after the incident.
OCD notes that the man is unsure of the exact number of police officers involved due to his psychological state at the time of the incident. However, he said he was sure there were more than five officers at the time the alleged abuse occurred.
He was also relieved in a corner after police failed to respond to his request to go to the bathroom.
“One of the Chinese officers, I remember, opened a small window. He looked at me and laughed. He gave me a sinister smile before closing the window, ”he said.
The man said he waited another 10 minutes before having no choice but to relieve himself in the cell.
For more than three hours, the man suffered from the cold as he only wore polo and shorts.
“No extra clothes or blankets. And the air conditioning (itionat) was so powerful. I had to roll up my sleeves, ”he recalled, adding that the police also took off his sandals.
The man was also not given anything to drink or eat at that time.
“No drinks, no food. The officer asked me if I wanted to have cup noodles. I said, “Yes, please.” But until I was released, no food was provided, ”he said.
The man also suffered panic attacks due to his claustrophobia, a condition recognized by Seng Kang General Hospital in December 2018, as he had to be sedated in order to perform an MRI.
He noted that his heart was beating at an intense rate, well above the 120 beats per minute documented by the doctor before being thrown into the cell.
The doctor, however, would have said that the man’s heart rate was fine and left him as he was.
“I said to myself,‘ I don’t want to die here. I don’t want to die in this cell. ‘ And he kept praying and praying, ”the man said.
He noted that officers did not respond to his request for help and that he was not allowed to call his wife, leaving her to worry about her well-being and whereabouts.
During the more than three hours of being in the cell, no one cared for his well-being. Officers attended to him only after the man made another call for assistance.
When he was taken out of the cell, the man did not have the strength to walk properly on his own and had to be physically supported by two police officers, one of them allegedly among those who had mistreated him.
When asked if he gave any comments or comments to the police officers involved in his arrest, the man said, narrating what he told them: “I did not commit any crime and you put me in the cell at purpose …”
“I am not drunk. I passed the test. Why do you have to do this to me? “
“It simply came to our notice then. He didn’t argue with me, ”the man said, referring to an officer who at one point had offered him cup noodles while he was being held in the cell, but did not follow through with the offer.
“I said, ‘I want to complain about you because you’re abusing your power.’
After being released, the man returned home to wash before submitting a police report to a police station about alleged abuses he suffered at the Cantonment police station according to instructions from the 999 call center.
At the station, before visiting her GP, she received a medical report form to document allegations of violence.
The medical report states that he suffered several injuries to his hands and legs.
The GP had certified that the wounds were not self-inflicted and that they were the result of a blow (s) from a blunt object (e.g., stick, fist, foot, etc.) on a day of the examination.
The GP also certified that the injury pattern was consistent with the man’s account.
At the end of the medical report, it can be seen that a police officer had recognized the form on the same day.
TOC has written to police to ask if he recorded any injuries suffered by the man before he was placed in the cell. However, no response has been received so far.
Information about the incident and photos of his medical report were provided to the chief investigating officer assigned to his complaint, to whom he said he should pursue updates on the case.
Aside from making a police report, he also raised this issue with Jalan Besar MP Heng Chee How. Although Mr. Heng wrote a letter to the police, the deputy did not take any further action on the matter.
In a letter, police acknowledged the man knew of Heng’s letter of representation and said the man’s comments “are getting our attention right now.”
In June 2020, the man was notified that images of the day of the incident were reviewed. Police gave their version of what transpired that day, allegedly from the officers involved in the alleged abuse.
No detailed mention of the images was ever made in the letter to the man. TOC has asked about this.
We also questioned what investigation the police are referring to, in their letter, as the man has already passed the breathalyzer test. However, we did not receive any response to these issues.
Touching why he decided to take his story to the media, the man said, “The reason I want to contact the press is that I feel I was being treated very unfairly.”
The newspapers the man had approached to cover his story allegedly closed his case, although he gave them all the necessary information and took photographs of him at his home.
The man said he had even turned to a lawyer for advice.
“The lawyer immediately told me,‘ You are trying to sue the Singapore police … This will be very dragging and tedious ’… So even a lawyer can tell me such a thing that worries them to challenge (alleged police misconduct). How about us lay people? “
“They’re so scared of the police … Actually, who’s going to be the police?” The man questioned.
It was only after OCD was recently informed in the news that his relatives asked the man to seek help from OCD to raise the issue, as he had nowhere else to turn.
The man had previously written twice to Interior Minister K Shanmugam on June 2 and June 9 this year to ask for help in examining his case, but received no response.
OCD is also facing a similar silence, as police have not yet responded to any of our inquiries sent on June 14, at the time of publication.
However, it is clear that the police are well aware of our attempts to solicit their comments in this regard, as the police tried to contact the man for a new interview last week.
The man refused to entertain these police interviews as all the information regarding the alleged abuses has already been presented to the police last year.
In addition, the police had already closed the case. In addition, the police should have the relevant images available for their own review purposes.
The man pointed out that there were surveillance cameras in the cell and at the entrance to the cell where he was forced to enter, meaning the incident should have been clearly captured in the images.
Continuing with the decision to continue talking about his ordeal, the man said, “The last time, maybe we’re talking about the 60s, 70s, the police can do whatever they want in jail, in the cell. “No one will challenge them. But right now it’s the 21st century and they’re still using these tactics against someone.”
“I just want justice to come. I don’t want to see anyone else after me go through this kind of disaster. “
“Sometimes I thought you know, the next person will go through (this) tremendous horror. After the case, I can’t sleep every night, ”he lamented.