Dr Berry retells ordeal

Are you the one who just dropped off rascals over there?

This was the question that police officers asked before they started assaulting Dr Newman Berry, a Resident Medical Officer (RMO) attached to the Obstetrics & Gynaecology Services at the Port Moresby General Hospital.

The 28-year-old Engan doctor told Loop PNG that he was returning from Tokarara, after dropping his sister off, when he noticed a police roadblock at the Hohola 4 peak. This was around 9.30-10pm on Wednesday, May 31.

While he was approaching the blockade, police officers started motioning for him to turn his vehicle, a maroon Nissan Cefiro, around.

However, in the process of making a U-turn, one of his tyres burst.

“I started slowing down because I was afraid I might lose control of the vehicle,” Dr Berry said.

While he was parked beside the road at Maria St, a group of officers approached him and started questioning him.

After the doctor told them that he wasn’t a getaway driver, they started accusing him of driving under the influence.

“I told them that no, I do not drink alcohol, I am an Adventist and a doctor at the labour ward. They then ordered me to step out of my vehicle.”

Dr Berry told Loop PNG that before he knew it, he was pummeled to the ground and more than five officers started booting him.

“When I regained consciousness, I felt someone kick my right ear. It was the most painful experience of my life,” recalled Dr Berry, who hails from the Kompiam-Ambum electorate.

“They then made me get into the cage of their vehicle and drove me to the Waigani Police Station while one of them drove my car, which was making a lot of noise.”

Dazed, bleeding and in pain, Dr Berry waited at the police station until 1am. An officer then came out and told him to go wash his face. He told Loop that he felt a searing pain as water touched the fresh wounds on his face.

“They then told me to go home, wash my face with warm water, and when I feel better, I should bring some money and give to the boys to get my car back.”

Instead, Dr Berry hailed a cab and headed straight for Emergency, where he received five stitches for his cut.

“At that time I had a swollen right upper eyelid; I couldn’t see. My whole face was swollen.”

“An Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) had a look in my right ear and told me that there was a ragged tear in my eardrum.

“My nose was smashed; it had shifted to the right,” recalled the 28-year-old.

Thankfully, Dr Berry’s injuries are healing, except for his hearing.

“There’s still a ringing sound in my right ear.”

He told Loop that he had only heard stories of police brutality until that Wednesday night.

However, despite his bad experience, he says his ethics states that he must serve anyone who comes seeking his care.  

“All I want is for justice to take its course,” states Dr Berry.

(Dr Newman Berry with executives of the National Doctors Association yesterday)


Related articles:

Doctor becomes victim of alleged police brutality - http://bit.ly/2qVHoDy

Doctors' association aims to end police brutality - http://bit.ly/2sBycWq

​Doctors issue ultimatum over police brutality issue - http://bit.ly/2r4vaMV

​Perpetrators in doctor’s assault identified - http://bit.ly/2r4ogYm

Carmella Gware