Grenadian Officers Return to Court Friday, More Could Face Internal Charges

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By Alexander Britell

The five Grenadian police officers charged with manslaughter in the death of Canadian resident and Grenadian native Oscar Bartholomew on Boxing Day will make a second appearance in court Friday for a bail hearing, and more officers may be subject to internal disciplinary charges, according to Derick Sylvester, attorney for Bartholomew’s family.

“Police are still investigating, so we’re not certain what will be the outcome of the investigation in relation to anyone else,” Sylvester told Caribbean Journal. “What they have indicated is that internal disciplinary charges may be filed in relation to other officers.”

An internal disciplinary charge is similar to a court-martial.

As of now, the police officers are still at Her Majesty’s Prison, and will make their appearance on a bail hearing on Friday in Magistrate Court.

Sylvester said he was reasonably satisfied with the progress of the proceedings thus far.

“At least, it is the first time in our history that anyone has been charged in relation to these matters,” he said. “We believe that the administration is taking an introspective look as to the recruitment of police officers, which I believe is a good thing and which is long in coming. Not everyone has the requisite qualifications to get into the service.”

Junior officers Kenton Hazzard and Wendell Sylvester were first charged Dec. 31, and officers Edward Gibson, Shaun Ganness and Ruddy Felix have been charged with manslaughter in the case, in which Bartholomew was allegedly beaten into a coma which caused his death.