This is so sad. Another man has died suspiciously in police custody.
A Canadian resident has died in the tiny Caribbean island of Grenada, as a result of what the victim’s family alleges was police brutality.
The prime minister of Grenada has ordered an investigation into the death of Oscar Bartholomew, a 39-year-old permanent resident of Canada. He died on Tuesday.
Richard Simon, press secretary for Prime Minister Tillman Thomas, said Thomas is seeking more information about the circumstances surrounding Bartholomew’s death.
Dunbar Belfon, superintendent of the Royal Grenada Police Force, says Bartholomew’s death is an “unfortunate incident.” He said police will be thoroughly investigating.
“The force has a very good track record of being very impartial in terms of conducting similar investigations,” Belfon said. “We have been very forthright in determining whatever investigation that needs to be conducted, even though it is done against members of the same institution.”
Media reports out of Grenada say that local police took Bartholomew into custody after he approached and hugged a female officer who he mistook for a friend.
Belfon says the officer was in uniform and Bartholomew was taken into custody after assaulting her.
Bartholomew’s aunt Josephine de Souza said that Bartholomew, along with his wife and his cousin, had stopped at the St. David’s police station on Monday afternoon for his wife to use the bathroom.
The reports say Bartholomew was beaten while at the police station and died shortly thereafter.
Bartholomew’s mother Phyllis Tate said that his wife saw the police take Bartholomew into the station.
“When he was calling for her they shut the door in her face and she heard when all the lashes were falling on him. She did not see him again until the ambulance came and took him to the hospital, lifeless,” Tate told CTV News Channel on Wednesday.
“It’s very hurtful to know that he didn’t do anything and they just take away his life from him.”
His cousin Shem Pierre accused police of leaving Bartholomew bleeding in his cell for at least three hours before calling an ambulance at the insistence of his wife.
According to doctors, Bartholomew died of a burst blood vessel in his brain.
Family members gave their statements to police on Wednesday and say that they are looking into hiring an outside pathologist to conduct an independent autopsy.
Damn shame. They know they didn’t have to beat that man like that. We pray this family gets justice for their loved one.
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