Three members of the Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF), one of whom was allegedly caught on camera kicking a civilian who was lying on ground during an event at Pirate’s Cove, will appear in court on September 14, 2017 to answer charges of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
Police Constable 1958 Bradley Cutting, Police Constable 1890 Justin Phillips and Police Constable 2099 Akeel Grant will face private prosecution for the June 18 incident.
Attorney-at-law Andrew Pilgrim, QC, this morning filed the charges in the No.2 District ‘A’ Criminal Court on behalf of 26-year-old Dario Rico Stanton of Hart’s Gap, Christ Church and 22-year-old Romario Mitchell Quintyne of 122 Cordia Drive, Warners Park, Christ Church.
A video had appeared on social media in mid-June showing what appeared to be a police officer brandishing a weapon and literally kicking a man while he was down.
It later emerged the victim was Stanton, who along with Quintyne, was charged with assaulting Phillips, occasioning him actual body harm, as well as obstructing that officer and Cutting in the execution of their duties, and assaulting Grant with intent to prevent the officer from lawfully apprehending him.
Quintyne was also charged with failing to obey a lawful order to keep moving given by Cutting, resisting the officer in the execution of his duties and using abusive language.
After the two emerged from the District ‘A’ Magistrates’ Court on June 19 to show journalists injuries they allegedly sustained, such as heavy bruises to the face, back, chest, lips, feet and armpit, as well as a bloodshot, black eye and swollen cheeks, Pilgrim had demanded the resignation of Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite and Acting Commissioner of Police Tyrone Griffith if they failed to deal swiftly with the perpetrators.
The attorney-at-law had revealed at the time that more than one officer had been involved, and today he told Barbados TODAY he was upset that little had come of a police investigation three weeks after the incident.
The RBPF had issued a statement shortly after video of the incident went viral, seemingly casting doubt that the man seen abusing Stanton was a police officer.
It said an internal investigation had been ordered into the social media posting “showing an individual dressed in a uniform similar to one worn by members of the Royal Barbados Police Force” kicking the man.
“These investigations will . . . determine if the individual in the posting is a member of the Royal Barbados Police Force,” the statement said.
However, Pilgrim said it was strange that while the Force had yet to confirm the identifies of perpetrators, his legal team had tracked down the alleged assaulters with some degree of ease and had begun proceedings against them.
“Basically after the young boys, Stanton and Quintyne, were kicked and beaten and dragged around Pirate’s Cove, the Police Commissioner said he has to determine if they were police officers in the first place and it has been three weeks now and nothing has been done. However, we were able to find out the identities of the parties and it wasn’t hard because their faces were revealed on video and we have filed the documents and they are now before the court,” the senior attorney-at-law said.
“The matter has been adjourned until September 14 at which time we will see them come before the court and say ‘guilty or not guilty’ to beating these people in view of the public, so they have to answer to the charges,” Pilgrim added.
The renowned attorney also obtained the court’s permission to have his office serve the officers, as the charge sheets had remained with court marshals for more than a week.
Careful not to imply improper motives on the part of the marshals, Pilgrim said he thought it prudent that his office helped to facilitate the process.
“We wanted to serve them ourselves because the tradition in the court is that these people are served through the marshal’s office, but they weren’t served in the course of the last week. Sometimes the marshal’s office is overburdened. I believe in giving everybody the benefit of the doubt but we will assist them with that burden of serving the accused men that we feel are allowed to get away with treating members of the public as they please,” said Pilgrim, who added that his clients were prepared to pursue justice in this matter to the very end.
“It is a matter of restoring confidence in our police force so that when people do something like this somebody is held accountable. You kick a civilian person on the ground, there is no excuse for it. And then the attitude of the top brass is that they have to find out if the person is a police [officer] or not. This is three weeks they can’t find out so the court will have to find out for them,” he stressed.
The alleged attack had come after the RBPF Task Force was called in on the night of June 18 to restore order at the last in the series of Waiki events at Pirate’s Cove, The City.
The popular event had been attracting large crowds since February. However, things got out of control as patrons reportedly broke down the fence in a mad scramble to get into the event.