‘Demon Squad’ at Tower Street Prison?

The Independent Commissions of Investigations, INDECOM and the Office of the Public Defender, have launched separate investigations into allegations of a death squad operating at the Tower Street Adult Correctional Facility in Kingston.

The Board of Visitors for the prison is also expected to start its own investigation.

The investigations follow the beating and hospitalization of a 27 year old inmate, Andrew Whitmore, last Friday.

Whitmore was beaten into an unconscious state by correctional officers, after he allegedly refused to hand-over an item of contraband.

Angela Lawson says she visited the Tower Street facility last Friday to see her son, but was told that he was hospitalized due to possible appendicitis.

But when she visited him at the hospital, it was a different story.

Ms. Lawson says her son, who’s generally cooperative, was beaten to an unconscious state.

She says she fears for the lives of Andrew’s fellow inmates.

Italy’s Consul to Jamaica, Carla Gullotta, who works in the prisons through her non governmental organization, Stand Up for Jamaica, says inmates have complained of a death squad operating at the Tower Street prison.

Ms. Gullotta says when she couldn’t tolerate the situation anymore, she was forced to confront the Superintendent for the prison, AD Brown.

She says that Andrew Whitmore was beaten after he complained to the Custos of Kingston, Steadman Fuller about corruption in the prison.

Whitmore remains in hospital, awaiting an MRI scan.

Meanwhile, the Superintendent at the Tower Street Correctional Facility, AD Brown, refused to tell our news centre what exactly happened to Andrew Whitmore.

But he says he’s unaware of claims by Ms. Gullotta that a report had been made about a mentally ill prisoner being brutalized by correctional officers.

Deputy Commissioner of Corrections, Joyce Stone, is refuting reports that Mr. Whitmore was beaten into an unconscious state.

She says he received only a minor cut to his lower lip during the confrontation with the Correctional Officer.

Mrs. Stone says after the confrontation, he was taken to the institution’s medical facility, before being placed at the security block.

She says Mr. Whitmore told her yesterday that while he was asleep, he was woken by a sharp pain and was then unable to move one of his legs.

She says he was taken to the doctor at the facility, before being referred to the Kingston Public Hospital.

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Jevon is a Reporter/Producer/Presenter with NNN. He holds a BA in Mass Communication (Journalism: emphasis) from Northern Caribbean University (NCU).