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FORCED TO CARRY 26 BODIES ... Tivoli resident says he can't eat meat after ordeal

Tivoli Garden resident Ricardo Richards said he was beaten by members of the security forces to carry the bodies of 26 humans and 11 dead dogs during the May 23, 2010 security operations.

Richards, now 34, told The STAR yesterday that while some people may chose not to remember the events of eight years ago, the painful memories are etched in his mind.

"Mi go through it. Mi nuh lose mi life cause me still deh yah, but mi lose nuff. Me did gone crazy, gone gone gone. One time yuh couldn't catch me yah suh," he said.

The security operations, which were undertaken to capture the fugitive, Christopher "Dudus" Coke, resulted in the death of 69 civilians and a soldier. Hundreds of persons were detained and properties damaged and destroyed.

Richards, who until now, has been silent, said he lost his babymother and several friends during the ordeal. He also said that he was forced to remove bodies that were in the community.

"To be frank with you, me alone tek up 26 dead body and 11 dead dogs," he said.

"Dem have yuh up and down, dem know say shot still a fire a me dem tek push round deh suh fi go out deh, nuh matter what type of dead body mi afi tek it up. Mi affi a tek up body from up the road a come down," Richards told THE STAR.

"A nuh like say me just see dem and a tek dem up, mi get wul heap of beating, wul heap. Nuff beating from police and soldier. When mi say lick mi can tell yuh bout lick. Mi never have no choice at all. Mi a big baller and mi think that woulda help mi when mi show dem certain things, but no. After that dem lock mi down for how much months, none of my family couldn't find me."

He told THE STAR that when he finally got released he was scared.

"When mi come a road mi fraid of mi own shadow. If me hear a vehicle a come mi just go hide out. A serious thing, a nuh joke. A nuh everybody in yah bad, this a ghetto, things can gwan and yuh nuh know bout it and dem a beat yuh fi talk all things yuh nuh know," Richards said.

According to Richards, the situation has affected even his relationship with relatives who are members of the security forces.

"Mi have a lot of police family, soldier family and not even dem mi nuh see dem and reason wid. When mi see dem mi just try wul mi calm. It never pretty, one of the time me give up on life, a just the mercy of God."

Richards told The STAR that the ordeal of having to carry the bodies led to him deciding he could no longer eat meat.

"If me see the meat and it look certain way me vomit," he said.

Still haunted by the memories of eight years ago, Richards said he would never want to experience a security operation like that again.

"If me have an idea say something like that a gwan again, mi gone far a some countryside cause dem nah go catch me again. Next time mi nuh must live fi can tell the tale. Maybe mi nuh must get wul pan fi get beating, maybe a shot mi get. A soldier ever point a gun pan yuh yet and say yuh must say yuh final prayer? A dat me go tru," he said.


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