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 113. - An Examination in Detail [Part 19] - The Evidence of Ben Jones

113. Mr. Ben Jones, a barrister and a former magistrate, and a Senator in the Grenada Parliament said he went to the Grenville Court House on November 19, 1973, to represent Maurice Bishop and the five other men about 10:45 a.m. There was fresh blood oozing from wounds on the heads of Bishop, Whiteman and Strachan; their heads, faces and shirts were covered with dried blood.

Before going to Court, he was standing on the sidewalk outside his office at about 9:00 a.m. in the company of two lawyers, Lloyd Noel and Jerome Ford. He then overheard Belmar saying "I don't want to hear from Hilda Bynoe. I don't want to hear from Eric Gairy. I don't want to hear from Herbert Blaize. I don't want to hear from Ben Jones. This is a police state now. We take over. Blood got to flow in the streets." Mr. Lennie Archibald, a funeral director of Grenville, also said that on the morning of November 19, he overheard Belmar say - "Ben Jones, I'm not hearing from you, I'm not hearing from Hilda Bynoe, I'm not hearing from the Governor, I'm not taking orders from the Commissioner of Police nor Jewel, nor H.A. Blaize, today, police take over."

Lennie Archibald also said that about 8:30-9:00 a.m. on the morning of Sunday, November 18, 1973, he went to the Grenville police station to pay for a death announcement; there he saw hundreds of men being recruited as police aides by Belmar assisted by a woman constable. According to him, the woman police constable was recording names while Belmar issued firearms - .303 rifles and service revolvers - to some of the men. Archibald did not know the reason for the recruitment and asked no questions.

He said he had been invited "to attend a businessman's meeting by the members of the New Jewel Movement" but that "what I saw frightened me and I didn't attend the meeting." Later that day he heard gun shots and from his home saw people scampering in every direction.

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