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

Part III

The Events of November 18, 1973

Paragraph 105. - An Examination in Detail [Part 14] - The Evidence of Nugent David

105. It is helpful to look again at the evidence of acting Commissioner Nugent David in order to see whether and to what extent reliance might be placed on the evidence of Belmar. After Belmar testified it seemed to the Commission necessary that certain aspects of his evidence, in which reference was made to David, ought to be further probed. Nugent David was recalled to speak about his connection with incidents which occurred on January 21, 1974, and the opportunity was thereby provided to examine him about incidents on November 18. 1973.

Q. There are a number of matters about which we didn't know then as much as we know now and about which I would like to ask you. I will like you to feel that you should be very frank about the things I am going to ask. Now, do you remember Sunday, the 18th of November
A. Yes, Sir.
Q. Did you attend a meeting of police officers on that day?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Do you remember at what time of the day that was?
A. I think it was late morning, sir.
Q. About what time?
A. Sometime between 10:00 and 12:00, sir.
Q. Between 10:00 and 12:00. Can you remember who were the police officers in attendance?
A. I think Superintendent James was present. A.S.P. Belmar was present. I was present. I don't remember any other police officers then, sir.
Q. Was anybody else present at that meeting?
A. The Premier was present.
Q. Now, could you tell me whether you have understood and from whom that there was likely to be an attack made on the Grenville police station on Sunday the 18th of November?
A. On that day I did not get any report that there will be an attack on the Grenville police station.
Q. No. You haven't heard the question. I didn't ask you whether you heard it on that day. Before that day, have you ever heard that there would be an attack on the Grenville police station on the 18th of November?
A. No, sir.
Q. No one ever told you that?
A. No, sir.
Q. Perhaps I might put it this way. Would you have expected that if a report had been made .....that is a report that was worth considering seriously by a police officer. That if a report had been made that there was a plan or plot to capture or attack the Grenville police station on the 18th of November, would you expect to be informed of that if the report was made to a senior officer of police?
A. I would expect that that report would reach me, sir.
Q. Up to the 18th of November, did any such report reach you?
A. No, sir.
Q. Now, on the 18th of November, did you discuss such a report?
A. When I spoke to A.S.P. Belmar later on, on the 18th, the night of the 18th, he told me . . .
Q. No. No. At the meeting of the 18th. On the 18th of November you had a meeting with police officers?
A. Yes, Sir.
Q. Did you discuss, at that meeting, a report concerning the possible capture or attack of the Grenville police station?
A. No, sir.
Q. Now, Mr. David, is it possible that this might be a lapse of memory or you are positive about this?
A. I am positive I did not discuss this. I did not know of that report at [rest of line is blank].
Q. So at that meeting of the 18th, what ever else was discussed, such an attack was not discussed.
A. No, Sir.
Q. And in fact, according to what you say, you have never, prior to that day been informed by any police officer that there was impending an attack or a plot to attack that police station?
A. No, sir.
Q. Now, did you know that there was a proposed meeting of businessmen in Grenville on that day?
A. I heard there was going to be a meeting at Grenville, yes, sir.
Q. Do you remember when it was that you heard that?
A. On the very 18th, sir.
Q. On the 18th?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. At that meeting of police officers?
A. No, sir. It was just before the meeting or something so.
Q. Just before the meeting of police officers you were informed by whom? Do you remember?
A. Inspector Andrews of Grenville police station.
Q. Inspector Andrews informed you. Do you recall what it was he told you?
A. He told me he heard that there would be a meeting at the Regal Cinema this afternoon by the Jewel and other businessmen at Grenville.
Q. By the Jewel and other business men at Grenville?
A. Yes, Sir.
Q. At the where?
A. At the Regal Cinema, Grenville.
Q. Yes.
A. At the DeLuxe Cinema, Grenville.
Q. Yes, so now, about what time would he have been telling you this?
A. This was in the morning time.
Q. Yes. It was about what? Early morning eight o'clock, nine o'clock?
A. This could have been between 9:00 and 10:00 a.m., sir.
Q. Alright, and did you give him some instructions?
A. No, sir. What I said well we should try and have the usual coverage of the meeting.
Q. Did you intend, by that, that the police should go to that meeting?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. And see who was at that meeting and so forth?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Did you intend them to stop the meeting?
A. No, sir.
Q. You understood at that time that members of the Jewel Movement would be attending that meeting.
A. Yes, sir.
Q. And you say that Inspector Andrews told you so.
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Now, you were saying something about the night of the 18th and the Grenville police station. The takeover of the Grenville police station. What was it you wanted to say?
A. Well, this was the first time I heard of the attack to be on the Grenville police station.
Q. When was that?
A. The night of the 18th when Inspector Belmar spoke to me.
Q. About what time was that?
A. I don't remember the exact time but it could have been any time around seven/eight o'clock.
Q. Did he tell you that there was some prisoners there at the police station?
A. Well, I had got the report that there were prisoners there before he spoke to me.
Q. Did you understand that some of them were injured?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Did you take any steps with respect to that report?
A. When I spoke to Inspector Belmar I asked him about that.
Q. Yes. What was it you asked him?
A. What he said there were minor injuries.
Q. He told you that the men had minor injuries, but then did you understand that the doctor had gone there?
A. I understand that a doctor went there to attend to them.
Q. He told you that?
A. What he told me was Dr. Charles had come there to see the prisoners.
Q. What else?
A. And he refused.
Q. Did you ask him why?
A. Yes, sir. I asked him why.
Q. Yes.
A. He said Dr. Charles came in a manner as though he wanted to fight the police.
Q. Yes. Is that the only doctor he told you had come to the station?
A. I think so, sir.
Q. Did you ever at anytime understand that a Dr. Gibbs was there?
A. No, sir. I don't remember him telling me that Dr. Gibbs was there.
Q. Right. So it was not until the night of the 18th then that he told you. What did he tell you about attacking the Grenville police station?
A. Well, he gave me a story that on his way to Grenville what he saw, what was told to him.
Q. He told you that on his way to Grenville, when?
A. That's after the meeting at St. George's.
Q. After the meeting in the morning with police officers?
A. He was going to Grenville during the afternoon time..
Q. He was on his way to Grenville, yes.
A. And somebody told him that the Jewel people were planning . . . .
Q. Somebody told him during that day?
A. Yes. That they were planning to ambush him.
Q. Somebody told him that the Jewels were trying to ambush him?
A. Yes. That's what he told me.
Q. Yes.
A. And he said he went on and after a time he saw that two cars were following him. He hide. These cars passed and I think he discovered there were Mr. Bishop and Mr. Austin.
Q. Mr. Bishop and Austin?
A. Mr. Bishop and Austin.
Q. What? Mr. Bishop was driving one car and Mr. Austin was driving the other car?
A. I don't remember if he told me who were driving the cars.
Q. I see. At any rate, what he told you he had been told on his way to Grenville was that someone told him that there was a plot to ambush him. Did he tell you anything else?
A. What he said that . . . . .he didn't tell me that the first time but he told me that the people were coming to take over the Grenville police station. There was a plot to take over the Grenville police station.
Q. Well, what? Did he just tell you that there was a plot didn't he tell you where he got his information?
A. He told me other things which I do not remember right now, but among them was this.
Q. That these men who had come to ambush him had also come to take over the Grenville police Station?
A. He said that the people were about to ambush him and he had to hide and they passed he followed and went on to Grenville. Later he said that they were planning to take over the Grenville police station.
Q. Yes. Well did you find out from him how he got that information or what it was that caused him to come to that conclusion?
A. I tried to find out from him, sir, but he said that the telephone was bad and he does not like to speak on the telephone.
Q. Oh, this was on the telephone that you were speaking?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. I see. And that was the first occasion that you had heard anything about the taking over the Grenville police station?
A. Yes, sir.

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