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

Part III

The Royal Grenada Police Force and the Recruitment and Function of Police Aides

Paragraphs 74 thru 76. - Sergeant Walter Sayers - His evidence

74. Walter Sayers, a sergeant of police for 5 years and a member of the Police Force for 26 was in charge of the St. David's police station on November 19, 1973.

According to him some prisoners had been brought to the St. David's police station by "some officers." The "officers" were "Moslyn Bishop and one Brizan."

He said "As a result Mr. Belmar rang me pertaining to this." His instructions from Mr. Belmar, who had warrants of arrest for them, were to take the prisoners to St. George's. According to Sgt. Sayers, when the prisoners were brought to St. David's police station, Moslyn Bishop told him that Mr. Belmar instructed them to take the prisoners there to be transported to the Central police station. Moslyn Bishop and the other police aides have never been members of the Grenada Volunteer Constabulary; but the verbatim evidence of Sgt. Sayers about the transportation by him of the prisoners to St. George's is as follows:

Q.    So you conveyed these prisoners to the
Central police station?
A. Yes, Sir.
Q. Who accompanied you?
A. The same Willie Bishop, Moslyn Bishop, Brizan and
some other G.V.C.'s attached to . . .
Q. Yes. You said that these three persons
were officers who brought the prisoners to
your station. What sort of officers are they?
A. They are G.V.C.'s.
Q. They are G.V.C.'s. What does G.V.C.
stand for?
A. Grenada Volunteer Constabulary.

Sgt. Sayers was not merely being untruthful. He understood the provisions of the Police Ordinance and was attempting to mislead the Commission into believing that the police aides were part of a lawful force. He was aware of their unlawful conduct but was cowardly prepared to make it legitimate. But Sgt. Sayers was not the only policeman or public officer who ventured to do this. Other instances will appear in this report.

75. Sgt. Sayers said that the officers whom he described as members of the Grenada Voluntary Constabulary,

Willie Bishop, Moslyn Bishop and Raphael Brizan, were not attached to the St. David's police station but to the Central police station.

He said that on that day he had a .38 revolver but did not see any of his officers with firearms.

It is not without interest to note here that Sgt. Sayers said that about 70 police aides were attached to the St. David's police station in November 1973 as compared to the number of 15 mentioned in the document produced by acting Commissioner James showing the strength at the several police stations of police aides for November, 1973.

Sgt. Sayers was incorrigible. At first he denied any knowledge of police aides or special reserve police. He said he had never known them called by any name other than G.V.C.'s; but in cross-examination he admitted knowledge of police aides and S.R.P.'s and took all to be G.V.C.'s. At one time he said they were usually sent to him by the Commissioner of Police and he would make a list of their names; at another time he said the Commissioner would inform him by telephone to recruit a certain number of men and he would do so: that procedure had been followed for 2 to 3 years.

In order to justify the execution of police duties by the police aides he held firmly to the view that the men were members of the Grenada Volunteer Constabulary and therefore had powers of arrest. It would be time consuming to record the chronicle of inconsistencies and untruths indulged in by Sgt. Sayers. It is enough to say that he is thoroughly unworthy to hold non-commissioned rank in the Police Force.

76. When Sgt. Sayers arrived at the Central police station with Eric Campbell, Eslyn Christopher and Joseph Grainger, Cpl. Harry Simon was on diary duty and the senior non-commissioned officer on duty was Sgt. Eugene Rose. Cpl. Simon said that Sgt. Sayers, upon arrival with the prisoners at the Central police station, told Sgt. Rose in his presence, that he had taken them up "for preaching violence against the government."

Sgt. Rose, who was called unexpectedly by the Commission to give evidence on Thursday, April 25, 1974, said that after Sgt. Sayers and the prisoners arrived, he asked Sayers what is was all about and Sayer's reply was that Willie Bishop and company including Moslyn Bishop arrested them in the St. David's area "for preaching violence against the government," and as a result they had been sent down to St. George's. Sayers said that they were taken to St. David's police station but Mr. Belmar instructed that they be brought down and he had done so as Mr. Belmar would be coming over the hills to look after the matter.

Sgt. Sayers vehemently denied this conversation and suggested that both Cpl. Simon and Sgt. Rose lied on him. Cpl. Simon is a timid man who saw more than he was willing to admit but he did not impress the Commissioners as a liar. Sgt. Eugene Rose impressed us as a truthful man and a well disciplined policeman. The Commissioners believed both Simon and Rose on this point.

It turned out in the end that the prisoners were badly beaten in the police station by police aides including Willie Bishop, Lloyd Frederick, Gordon Noel, William Frank and Raphael Brizan, aided and abetted by some members of the Royal Grenada Police Force. In the end Mr. Belmar did not go to St. George's; but at 8:30 p.m. Cpl. Olivierre of the Grenville police station executed warrants of arrest on the prisoners alleging that at Petit Etang, in St. Davids, the prisoners were in possession of offensive weapons, to wit, cutlasses on October 29, 1973.

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