Report of the Duffus Commission of Inquiry into the Breakdown of Law & Order, and Police Brutality in Grenada

Part IV

Events Subsequent to November 18, 1973

Paragraph 201. - The answers to the Questions posed in paragraph 179

201. We now answer the questions which we posed in paragraph 179.

  1. We are satisfied that the decision by Mr. Gairy to recall the police aides was influenced by (a) the size of the demonstrations which had been organised by the trade unions and (b) by his belief that they had become a threat to the achievement of political independence for Grenada.

  2. We do not accept that the police aides were recalled to assist businessmen in providing security for their premises.

  3. There is no evidence of any public service performed by the police aides after their recall on Monday, January 21, 1974 and before their disbandment in March, 1974.

  4. While the demonstrations were not planned as a measure to impede or prevent political independence for Grenada; we are satisfied that persons who were opposed to the leadership of Mr. Gairy used the demonstrations with the hope or expectation of delaying independence.

  5. The causes of the riot were -

    1. gross negligence on the part of Mr. Gairy;
    2. the deliberate violent confrontation of the demonstrators by the police aides.

  6. Members of the Police Force did not take any steps to prevent the riot; and when the riot occurred, they did not adopt any effective measures to control the conduct of persons involved in the riot. The use of rifle fire and tear gas worsened the situation.

  7. There was a breakdown of discipline in the Police Force on January 21, 1974.

  8. The breakdown of discipline may be attributable to the insecurity among senior police officers and to their reluctance to assume individual responsibility for decisions involving action against the police aides.

  9. No proper departmental action has been taken by the Ministry of National Security or the Commissioner of Police to investigate the circumstances of the riot.

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