As a Grenadian, I am compelled to comment on a story of which most of you are likely aware. I am commenting not only on the horrible incident itself, but, also, my reaction is directed to an editorial posted on The New Today, on January 2, 2012, entitled “The Police Are Capable.”
This very horrible incident, once again, has trusted our island onto the world stage. As a concerned Grenadian, this, to me, is certainly troubling. This is not the image our country should be projecting. Our island worldwide image is being damage by this regrettable incident. Being in this position is not healthy for the country. There is, however, another side. We can use this unfortunate incident to show that we Grenadians are good citizen of the world, people who will stand for human rights and justice. It is, however, this latter point, I found wanting in The New Today’s editorial that stroke a cord with me.
As reported, a young Grenadian man, who had made his home in Canada, returning to Grenada to visit family, was bound and beaten to his death by a few Grenadian police officers. According to the report, “witness told police Friday that five Grenadian police officers swarmed Bartholomew after an incident with a female police officer, brought him into a jail cell, tied his hands and feet and beat him” (thestar.com). So, what was the crime did this young man committed to justify such a fate handed him by these officers? The report went on to say, that, “On Monday, Bartholomew was with his wife when they stopped outside St. David’s police station. According to family and friends, Bartholomew snuck behind a woman and gave her a bear hug. Bartholomew mistook the woman, a police officer who may or may not have been in uniform, for an old friend,” (thestar.com).
Certainly, one can understand why the police was concerned and arrested the young man. In fact, according to some reports, the woman police officer, who apparently was not dressed in police uniform, yelled out rape during the incident. Indeed, this definitely required the immediate action by the police. However, this did not give police officers the license to act in such an unprofessional and criminal manner. Grenadians should be angered by the action of these police officers. There is no excuse for the action of these police officers.
Nevertheless, despite this degenerate action taken by our police officers, we are told by the editorial in The New Today that we “should not be construed to mean that the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) are comprised of rogue cops who like to beat and brutalize people”. “Let us”, the editorial continues, “not judge the members of our police force because of this ugly incident”. Indeed, I doubt that any well-meaning Grenadian will use this incident and blanket the entire police force as incompetent rouges. However, the police force is certainly populated with those types. They are officers who view the police force as some type of gang, and are using the badge and the law as a license to bully regular civilian. For many years, Grenadians have been complaining about being brutalized by goon style-operating police officers. So yes, there are rouge Grenadian cops who take pleasure in biting people.
In addition, The New Today, tell the family of the diseases that “there is no need to look at bringing into the country any foreign person to investigate this matter.” Why not? Because, “THE NEW TODAY is confident that the police force can do a thorough investigation into the incident along with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and come up with the appropriate and necessary action in the circumstances.” Is this a jock? We have a family who lost their love one, and The New Today are telling them don’t take their own action because; “The New Today” assured them the RGPF will do a thorough job. I certainly have confidence that my GRPF can and will do a thorough investigation. However, because I feel that way, does not translate into it actuality happening. Furthermore, it will be grossly offensive of me to ask this family not to take the action they deem best for them, because of my own feelings, and so is The New Today suggesting this to this grieving family. Instead, I should encourage them to take the action they feel deserved because, in reality, it could have been me, or it could have been you. Thus, instead of trying to protect the island image by discouraging the suffering family from finding a way in which they feel comfortable justice will be serve, The New Today should show the world that they are concern about the safety and protection of the human being. They should stand with the family to find justice and not try to protect the perpetrators of the crime. We have to stand and guard against police brutalization, regardless of who is the victim. These police officers must be punished to the full extent of the law.
I doubt that these officers were not aware of police protocols, as The New Today editorial alludes to. Stop making excuses for these goons. Are you saying that there was no one in the police station who knew the protocols? Was there anyone there that was thinking rationally? Anyone who could have bring a stop to the brutalization done to this man, or avoided it from even starting. We are told, by the editorial, that the Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), who is in charge of the station, was on the compound during the incident, however, he apparently did not know what was happening. Really! He did not know. Believe what you want, but I am skeptical. What we believe, however, is beside the point. This family has lost their love one. Our Job, as responsible citizens of Grenada, is not to come up with ways to defend these despicable human beings who committed this horrible crime. Instead, we should be demanding the family receive the justice they deserve. Most certainly, these goons, who find themselves in our police force, must be dwelt with very seriously.
Stop defending these goons!