A young man — who is claiming he was injured because police used excessive force to handcuff him two years ago — allegedly attempted to resist arrest because he is the son of a prominent local businessman, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions has suggested.
Police reportedly apprehended Andrew Cox, Jr back in July 2016 for possession 3.2 grams of cannabis for which he pleaded guilty. Young Cox, however, contested the charge of resisting arrest.
During the trial, prosecutors presented their case to the court that Cox allegedly resisted arrest on the day in question because of the prominence and influence of his family.
“Mr Cox, did you not tell the court that you said: ‘I know my rights, I know my rights’? Mr Cox, you said the officer proceeded to clip on your left-hand cuff and another officer told you to calm down and you told them ‘I am Andrew Cox’?” asked one prosecutor during Cox’s trial.
Cox then told the court he was merely responding to a police officer who wanted to know his name.
The prosecutor continued: “Mr Cox, you said you are a programmer for your family’s television/radio station?”
He responded in the affirmative, admitting that their family media business is well known.
“Mr Cox would you admit to the court that you are fairly well-known around Tortola?” prosecutors then asked.
He replied: “I don’t leave my house … persons know of my dad.”
The prosecutor then asked whether persons knew that he was Andrew Cox, Sr’s son.
“Yes,” he replied.
“So that is why you told the officer ‘I am Andrew Cox’? Because you felt that it wasn’t warranted for you to be arrested?” the Crown counsel questioned.
Cox again replied: “She (the policewoman) asked me my name so I answered the question,” he said.
I was injured
Cox claimed that police exerted so much force on him that he had to seek medical attention.
He said he had swelling on his arm, and bruising to his knees and elbows. He further said he felt pain in the area of his back where a police officer used his knees to restrain him and administer the second link of the handcuff.
However, two members of the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force – Teshoy Andrews and D’urville Carty – said Cox did not want to be arrested on the evening in question and resisted the police for more than five minutes.
They both said they had to then use tactics to restrain him.
The law enforcement duo, in addition, said at no time did Cox ever complain about being injured while at the police station.
In his defence, attorney Valerie Stephens-Gordon said her client was assaulted by more than one officer on the evening in question.
She said he was thrown and pinned to the ground with his face against the pavement.
The attorney further claimed that, when Cox was fully cuffed, he was dragged from the pavement and was covered in dirt and injuries.
Cox’s trial concluded last Friday and Magistrate Shawn Innocent is scheduled to enter a verdict on the matter on November 12.
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