Angry protesters jeered at law enforcement officers outside the St.George’a Magistrate Court Tuesday as five officers accused of killing a Canadian resident made their first court appearance.
The protestors, which included family members, hurled abuses at the officers on duty accusing them of protecting the identity of the accused officers.
“I don’t like what the police officers did,” said Camille Scott, a vendor. “If was somebody else that had committed that crime, they would have let the nation see their face.”
“If was my son, they would have passed him down the step let everybody see, with the handcuff…fire for the police,” she shouted.
Alison Pascal, a cousin of deceased Oscar Bartholomew said she was outraged that the police seemed to be giving special treatment to their accused colleagues.
“They didn’t think to protect the boy when they were killing him; nobody thought to protect him,” she shouted with emotion. Adding, “but now they protecting their murderers.”
“God in control! I’m not afraid to say they walk up the wrong tree,” Pascal said.
Some chanted ‘murderers’ and “we want justice” as police created diversions that allowed their accused colleagues to arrive and depart the court house without being seen by the crowd outside.
The protestors, who have already staged two demonstrations, have been campaigning for the charges against the officer to be upgraded from manslaughter to murder.
But attorney for Bartholomew’s family Derek Sylvester has suggested that a legal disparity could undermine such effort.
“Our law in Grenada is different from other parts of the Caribbean. The intent to kill must be specific” Sylvester told journalists at a news conference Tuesday.
“If there was intent to cause grievous bodily harm or to cause injury that does not suffice for murder. That suffices for manslaughter”.
The crowd of demonstrators also staged a noisy march through the streets of the capital calling for an end to police brutality.
They picketed the front of the building housing the criminal Investigation Department (CID) beating buckets and chanting ‘we want justice’.
Since the incident there have been two sets of demonstrations outside of the St. David’s Police Station.©