Grenada has recently seen an outpour of rage mixed with militancy as members of the public came out in their numbers last Friday to protest against what they viewed as police brutality, which led to the death of a young man. Should the anger and defiance displayed in Tanteen be taken lightly? We’ve heard the police describing the incident as one that they were able to control despite the fact that tempers flared. For people who were not actually there, we are sure they saw some of the videos that were going live as the incident unfolded in Tanteen and are worried about what took place as the protestors called for justice.
But what prompted that kind of behavior where someone would actually say publicly that he “ent care, I prepare to go in jail.” This was one of the many serious utterances and threats that were directed at the police, laced with obscene language. A careful observation revealed that there were people from all walks of life displaying that kind of rage as they blocked traffic and dared the police to “kill us as you all killed Bell.”(Bell is the 22-year-old man that was killed at sea.)
The public show of anger and disgust on Friday was based on the incident that recently took place at sea
where a Royal Grenada Police Force coast guard boat allegedly collided with another small boat, killing
one of the two men on board. The one that survived was seen in local news tearfully relating the story. He said they were coming from Point Salines when they saw the coast guard boat heading their way and upon realizing the seriousness of the matter he switched on the light in his cellular phone and held it up to alert the captain of their location.
However, as the coast guard boat continued on its track, heading for them, he jumped into the water. He said the policemen held a gun to his head and ordered him to their boat even while he was crying out for help for his friend who went down with their small boat. It was not until the following day that the body was retrieved from the sea. How can this be explained in a rational way? This story as viewed in local news, is bound to invoke anger from relatives and friends.
A release from the police stated that the incident occurred sometime after 7:00 pm on Sunday while officers attached to the Grenada Coast Guard were returning to the True Blue base from an operation, when they collided with a small vessel at Grand Anse, Saint George. This newspaper has heard of two separate investigations planned for the incident. Head of the Community Relations Department (CRD), Assistant Superintendent of Police Desmond Richards was seen in news calling on witnesses to come forward to state what they have seen or heard “as we make sure the investigation is done properly, all the bases are covered and we come to a truthful, right conclusion as to why and how this unfortunate incident occurred.” Let’s keep fingers crossed that this will actually go as planned.
People may remember the twists and turns in the Bartholomew case where a man was beaten by police which resulted in his death when he allegedly mistook a female police woman for a friend and gave her a bear hug. It was reported that she cried out “rape” which caused other police officers to inflict blows on Bartholomew. Then there is the incident where the body of a man from Springs known as Chicklet was found in the water in the Lagoon. He was allegedly shot by someone from a yacht. Was anyone charged for that? Then there is the story of a woman popularly known as ‘Two on the road’ who was living on a sail boat with the owner for whom she had a baby. One day when she came ashore the boat left Grenadian waters with her baby. The mother was featured in local media crying for her child. Was the child ever located? Recently there was the incident with the owner of a boat attacking a man in Carriacou with a knife. Why was he allowed to leave the island while investigations are going on? The gruesome incident which took place in Saint Andrew where a man’s body was dismembered and thrown in a river had a Guyanese woman as a key witness in that case. Was she at the funeral? Is it true that she was allowed to leave Grenada?
In Friday’s protest one man was heard alluding to vendetta when he said that the same captain of the coast guard boat did say to Bell while on a recent cruise that he must get him. He said, Bell was being harassed by the officer. If that is true, it’s a sad coincidence. On top of all the woes, on May Day we heard hints of an island-wide shut down by the lone Electricity Company. Let’s all hope for good sense to prevail in what seems to be serious times.