Cuffed and kicked

2013-11-18 00:00

WHEN a traffic officer shoved her during an argument, a Durban woman, who slapped the officer back, was hauled off to a police station, separated from her terrified nine-year-old daughter.

The daughter had seen her mother handcuffed and thrown to the floor at the side of the road by the traffic officer and then taken away in a police van.

Urvashi Singh (37) was allegedly assaulted after she was stopped by the Metro police for a traffic violation on Victoria Street.

“I was [made] anxious by the traffic and decided to turn into Victoria Street when the car in front of me decided to do the same. I was stopped by an officer who asked to look at my licence, which was inside my wallet,” said Singh.

She said she took out her wallet and tried to retrieve her licence but it did not budge. The police officer was adamant that she take out the licence and refused to listen to her.

Singh gave him the wallet to show him that her licence was stuck in there. The officer demanded that she take out the licence, but she told him that her details were visible even in the wallet. They began to argue about returning the wallet to Singh.

“He had my wallet with him — as my possession I was annoyed by the fact that he refused to give it back to me and an altercation broke out between us. This was when he shoved me, and I retaliated by slapping him.”

Singh added: “He then pulled my hair and threw me to the ground, which caused my head to hit the sidewalk pole. They handcuffed me whilst I was still on the ground and I was kicked because I was unable to get off the ground.”

While this all played out, Singh’s daughter sat in the car, terrified. Singh said she made several attempts to get to her daughter, but the police officers who had surrounded her, shoved and pushed her constantly.

She was eventually taken to the Durban Central police station, leaving behind her daughter to wait for her aunt to fetch her.

“I was terrified that she was left in the car, but the policeman made sure I had no control over the situation. When we got to the police station I was still frantic and worried about [my daughter] and was eventually told her aunt had taken her to school.”

Singh said she wants justice for the alleged brutality against her.

“I believe we need to take a stand for our rights as individuals. The police are meant to protect us, not hurt us.”

She appeared in court for assaulting a police officer on Wednesday, but the case was adjourned to December.

A case of common assault has been opened against the policeman and Metro police spokesperson Eugene Msomi said the incident has been taken to court.

He refused to comment further.

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