A law which was implemented a few years ago, is seemingly making it difficult for the police in Antigua and Barbuda to arrest the five youngsters who stomped a young Dominican, almost killing him.
Acting Police Commissioner in St. Johns, Atley Rodney, who is Dominican, said law enforcement must follow procedures before they can even question Jahhym Azoo’s attackers.
Azoo, the victim of the attack, remains in critical condition at the Mount St. John’s Medical Center (MSJMC) after he was reportedly robbed, beaten and stomped by five young men in the vicinity of the Greenbay Primary School earlier this month. They reportedly took his Adidas slippers and his mobile phone.
But Rodney told State TV that police are ensuring they follow procedures set out in the Child Justice Act since the suspects are all minors and under the age of 18.
“We are speaking not only to the officers that are dealing with it, but also to the other stakeholders when it comes to juvenile matters, so the other agencies are involved and we are trying to bring some solution to this problem.”
The Act, passed by Parliament in late 2015, established a Child Justice Board to deal with the initial inquiries into allegations against children. In this case, the children involved must also be assessed by a social worker prior to being taken before the Board.
Meanwhile the Grays Farm community has started a protest calling for justice for Azoo.