State must pay Moruga brothers $.2m for wrongful arrest

THE State has been ordered to pay two brothers $. 2 million plus damages with interest for arresting and holding them in a cell for four days and never charging them.

Markus Jackson and his brother Simmeon, of Fifth Company Village, Moruga, won their lawsuit on Monday before Justice Ronnie Boodoosingh.

On September 4, 2017, they were at a wake at a neighbour's home when just before midnight, there was a shooting nearby. Two soldiers were shot and one died.

Two days later, police and soldiers went to the Jackson brothers' home. They handcuffed and took them to the Princes Town Police Station.

At about 7 pm, Markus was taken to St Madeleine Police Station. In his lawsuit, filed by attorney Kevin Ratiram, he described the cell he was put in as filthy, with a hole in the ground for a toilet. And, he added, it was clogged. Markus also said the cell had no bed.

On September 8, he continued, police recorded a statement from him. He denied he shot at any soldier, but said at the time of the shooting, he was at the wake.

The following day, he complained to police that his hands were hurting because of the handcuffs. They took him to San Fernando General Hospital for treatment, then back to St Madeleine Police Station.

Markus said that later that day, he was taken to San Fernando Police Station.

Simmeon said in his lawsuit that he was treated in the same way as his brother/

At the San Fernando station, they were put on an ID parade and told they were suspects in a robbery on September 1, 2017, at a bar in Princes Town.

Markus and Simmeon were released at 5.30 pm on September 10, 2017, without charge.

The State challenged the brothers' lawsuit, saying two undercover soldiers were at the wake, on the lookout for a suspect.

In an affidavit, the State said the soldiers were ambushed by gunmen at the wake and one died.

On hearing Ratiram's submissions on behalf of the brothers, and that the state attorneys admitted liability, Boodoosingh ruled judgement must be entered for the brothers. He ordered the State to pay Markus $115,000 including damages, interest and costs.

The State is to pay Simmeon $105,000, plus damages, interest and costs.


"State must pay Moruga brothers $.2m for wrongful arrest"

More in this section