The funeral service for Oscar Bartholomew, the Grenadian-Canadian resident who died hours after allegedly being beaten into a coma while in police custody was held here on Monday.
The service which was held at the Crochu Roman Catholic Church was attended by Prime Minister Tillman Thomas, Opposition Leader Dr. Keith Mitchell the Parliamentary representative for the area, Denis Lett, Police Commissioner Wilan Thompson and hundreds of Grenadians.
The service began with the viewing of the body by the public coupled with tributes from family members and friends reminiscing on the person of Oscar Peter Bartholomew, through songs and short speeches.
In the eulogy which was presented by an emotional Peron Taitt, spoke of a young man who was focused, loved family and did all he could to “stay away from the law”.
“He was not a perfect person, our family was not a perfect family but he loved family,” said a teary-eyed Taitt.
During the service there were outbursts of tears from many family members including an aunt, who kept screaming the question that many have been asking for the last few weeks “why?”.
Bartholomew’s mother who sat in the from row near his wife and step-daughter, appeared composed, with occasional quiet sobs. However, when it was time for the final viewing of the body before the casket is closed, she was among the few family members who chose not to view Bartholomew’s face for the last time.
Bartholomew’s wife, Dolette and daughter Jacynthe Boudreau huddled together to view his face for the final time. Seeing his face, Boudreau cried softly while her mother whispered to her and gave the nod that closed the casket for the final time.
Bartholomew who was visiting his homeland for the Christmas vacation was allegedly beaten into a coma on Boxing Day by police at the St. David Police Station, after mistaking a police officer, stand in front of the police station, for a childhood friend, giving her a bear-hug from the back, and lifting her off the ground.
It was reported that the police officer whose identity has been kept from the public, thought she was being assaulted, called for help and her colleagues came to her aid, detained Bartholomew, and allegedly beat him during his detention.
Two autopsy reports revealed that he sustained a fractured skull, bleeding and swelling in the brain, and other broken bones and lacerations on his body.
The five police officers charged with manslaughter, in the death of Bartholomew, have been granted bail which is to take effect on Friday. They are to return to court on January 27.©