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Defendant accuses officers of "police brutality"

Defendant accuses officers of

Monday 03 August 2020

Defendant accuses officers of "police brutality"

A man who was sentenced in court this week for resisting arrest and obstructing officers has accused Guernsey Police of being "institutional racists".

While representing himself, Chaisse Gallienne, 34, claimed officers had "assaulted" him because of his race, referring to the incident as "police brutality".

The defendant was first brought to officers' attention on 27 May 2018, when they were called to a fight in Town. Inquiries led them to Gallienne, who immediately began using offensive language towards them. Despite being warned multiple times to calm down, the defendant continued swearing and told the officers: "you better have your CCTV on 'cos you're going to need it".

When one of the officers took Gallienne's arm, he resisted and tried to pull away but ended up falling over a wall behind him. He continued to struggle; rolling onto his front so he couldn't be restrained with handcuffs and calling the police "racist". Two other officers were called in to assist and the defendant was taken to the van.

Court Entrance

Pictured: The defendant was sentenced in the Magistrate's Court.

He had cut his head during the struggle and had to be taken to the Princess Elizabeth Hospital to be checked over.

However, the verbal abuse continued when the officers arrived at the Emergency Department with the defendant. According to police, hospital staff weren't able to treat him because of his disorderly behaviour and he was discharged shortly afterwards.

On leaving the hospital, the officers believe Gallienne then feigned a faint as he was closing his eyes and refusing to respond. He had to be lifted out of bed and was put in a wheelchair, which he fell out of multiple times, although officers believe he did this on purpose.

Once again, he resisted handcuffs to the point where the side of the cuffs snapped, breaking the locking system.

He calmed down for a short while before becoming irate again; kicking out at the wheelchair and the officers. He was eventually put in a limb restraint but continued to struggle and use offensive language.

In his mitigation, Gallienne said he had been "annoyed" because he was being arrested and the "other two lads" involved in the initial fight weren't.

A&E ED emergency department hospital peh

Pictured: The defendant was taken to the Princess Elizabeth Hospital but was to disorderly to treat.

"I was rugby tackled to the floor [by officers] and my arms were bent behind my back," he said to the Court. "They continued to drag me about by my shoulder, which they injured in the arrest. They were assaulting me. I was upset at the fact that the other two people got away with it and with the excessive force used."

The defendant was bailed following the incident but, before he was scheduled to appear in court in 2018, he left the island, only returning in June this year amid the corona virus pandemic. He claims he contacted Guernsey Police ahead of his return and was met by officers at the airport and taken into custody.

He gave a 'no comment' interview, with the exception of calling the police "institutional racists".

Gallienne told the Magistrate's Court he "wasn't happy with the police conduct" and that was why he had left the island.

Although some of the prosecution's facts were disputed by the defendant, Judge Graeme McKerrell said it was "unnecessary" to hold a hearing to determine the truth.


Pictured: Judge McKerrell suggested the defendant make a complaint rather than behaving in a disorderly way.

"Regardless of your view towards the police, you cannot behave in this way," he told Gallienne, before suggesting he make a formal complaint instead.

The defendant was sentenced to 90 hours of community service for the resisting and obstructing charges, as a direct alternative to two months in prison which he will have to serve if he doesn't complete the unpaid work.

In addition, he was given six weeks in prison for breaching his bail by leaving the island for two years.

In response to the accusations of racism, a Bailiwick Law Enforcement spokesperson said: "Anyone who wishes to make a complaint about officer conduct can contact the Professional Standards Department."

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