By Yusef Taylor, @FlexDan_YT
Gambian Artists Chipa Yi, real name Mr Sheriff Camara, has reported a case of “Police Brutality” to the Gambia Police Force yesterday, 13th December 2021 and to the Gambia’s National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) today 14th December 2021.
The popular Banjulian rapper took to social media on Sunday 12th December 2021, to raise attention to alleged Police Brutality meted out on him by Officers of the Police Intervention Unit (PIU) the same day at 1:56 am in the morning at Louvel Square in Banjul.
Chipa Yi’s statement commences when he went “to buy dinner, some PIU Personnel attacked me and beat me mercilessly,” he said. “The first PIU Officer to enter the shop scolded me and when I asked him what was going on he slapped me and another officer kicked me. I raised up my hands to proclaim my innocence but the Officer refused to enquire about my innocence. Without warning other Officers entered the shop and started kicking me and throwing blows at my face and dragged me outside the shop while beating me with their batons” said the Banjul rapper.
As the shopkeeper intervened to “informed the Officers of [his] innocence they responded by saying “f***king sh*t your mouth” and continued beating me”. In what appears to be a case of mistaken identity the dreadlocked rapper says he “heard Officers enquire about a Rastaman whom the Officers were looking for and assumed [he] was the suspect”.
After the alleged assault at the corner shop, Chipa Yi says he “was beaten up mercilessly as Officers broke some of [his] valuable belongings and injured [him] seriously. My whole body is currently swollen up with bruises on my wrist and body from the beating” explained the artists.
It did not end there his statement claims that “the Officers threw [him] into their pickup truck and kept beating [him] all the way to the Police station. The shopkeeper who also tried to plead for [his] innocence was taken along to the Police Station in Banjul”.
When he arrived at Police Headquarters, Chipa Yi says after he “explained [himself] at the Police Headquarters in Banjul they realized that they mistook [him] for another person whom they said insulted them but since am with dreadlocks — they thought [he] was [the suspect]”.
“After realizing this and seeing my condition they took me to the Bakau Ndemban hospital for treatment and released me to go home without opening up any police case to pursue the matter further,” said the artist’s social media post.
A medical document shared with Gainako indicates that the patient Sheriff Camara “reported a heavy beating by the Police and now he has trauma of the elbow, difficulty in flexing it, pain on the jaw, painful sides and knees”.
Another statement in the medical document indicates that the “patient was well until when he alleged that some group of Police Officers assaulted him, having mistaken him for a Rastaman who was said to have insulted the Police”.
A Foroyaa Newspaper publication confirmed that Police PRO Lamin Njie has “received a complaint from the rapper. Currently, the Police Professional Unit is probing into the matter” and that “the details will be shared when detectives are done with the investigations”.
Gainako Editor, Yusef Taylor was present when the artists reported his case to the National Human Rights Commission.