Three members of the Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF), one of whom was allegedly caught on camera kicking a civilian who was lying on the ground during an event at Pirate’s Cove in June, have had their case adjourned until December 5.
Police Constable 1958 Bradley Cutting, Police Constable 1890 Justin Phillips and Police Constable 2099 Akeel Grant, who are facing private prosecution for the June 18 incident, were noticeably absent when the matter came up for hearing today before Magistrates Kristie Cuffy-Sargeant. They are charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
Attorney-at-law Andrew Pilgrim, QC, had filed the charges in July 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 later 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.
However, the two had contended that they had sustained injuries, such as heavy bruises to the face, back, chest, lips, feet and armpit, as well as a bloodshot, black eye and swollen cheeks, inflicted upon them by the officers.
Pilgrim had 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.
Today, it emerged that the officers had yet to be served with the necessary court documents despite Pilgrim’s numerous attempts, hence the postponement.
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 had said. The status of that investigation was not immediately clear.
The charges came after the RBPF Task Force was called in to restore order at the last in the series of Waiki events at Pirate’s Cove, The City, when things got out of control. Patrons reportedly broke down the fence in a mad scramble to get into the event.