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 118. - An Examination in Detail [Part 23] - Impressions of night of Sunday, November 18, 1973

118. In the light of those entries in the Grenville station diary it is interesting to note the impressions which different people formed about the Events in Grenville on the night of Sunday, November 18, 1973.

  1. Rev. Fr. Coxhead:
    "On the street coming up I think it is Victoria Street towards the police station. The whole impression was of a Western film; there was no order and it was terror. No order, sheer terror, that was my impression."
  2. Lennie Archibald
    "I used my binoculars and I saw people running across the recreation ground in the direction of my home, and gun shots were going off. I heard a microphone was announcing on the mike they said "Put them out in minutes otherwise, we coming to take them dead or alive." I didn't know who was saying so, I stayed at home, I'm not living far from Bhola's where this thing happened, but I didn't go out for the day for what I saw the morning and the way these guys looked at me."
  3. Rupert Bishop:
    "We went direct to the police station . . . We asked for the officer-in-charge . . . Inside the police station, after having some difficulty in getting in because there was so many roughnecks in the area with guns and axe handles. There were policemen on the inside but the whole of the outside was behind the counter was all filled up with a lot of rough-necks."
  4. Mrs. Eileen Radix:
    "Well, I would call it a terrifying scene. I have never experienced such a terrifying scene in all my life. There were about 60 or more plain clothes men on the outside of the station with big batons and guns and they stopped the cars and made us get out and they searched the cars."
  5. Dr. Laurence Gibbs:
    "I saw at least three uniformed policemen. I can't say that I remember how many. I remember having three uniformed policemen talking to me . . . There were many people without uniform . . . armed with rifles and stocks . . . I remember seeing one rifle . . . I saw several men with sticks . . . Yes, I remember. I heard the sound of a heavy object, a hard object, knocking the roof of the car and the car came to a stop, and I got out of the car, I was tod to get back into the car . . . and I eventually got back into the car . . . I do not remember whether the men got as far as searching the car. The car was stopped and a search was attempted, but I was out of the car at the time and i didn't recall what was going on because I was . . . I was afraid."
  6. H.M. Bhola:
    "There was gun fire all over the house . . . There were lots of them calling out to me and Daniel too and Radix "we want you. Come out. A little later on a loudspeaker, I recognised the voice to be Inspector Belmar's. He called out my name "H.M. Bhola, you have three men inside there put them out or otherwise I will blast the building."
Q. Did you lean during the afternoon that Mr. Bishop was at the police station?
A. Yes, I heard, but after the incident.
Q. Did you not think you might go and inquire (as) he was the man you had invited to come to your meeting?
A. I think you know very well that you love your body, I love mine too.
Q. Did it occur to you that you might go?
A. My reason for not going was I might have been beaten too.
Q. You were afraid to go?
A. Definitely.
Q. Did you care to tell us what would cause you to be afraid?
A. As I actually repeated to you that they were threatening me.
Q. Did you go out of you house for the remainder of that 18th of November?
A. No sir, for five days after I couldn't go out.

  1. Anthony Waldron:
    "There was gunshot all around the place and there was people, children, everybody was there . . . I did not see anybody fighting . . . I did not see anybody misbehaving . . .
Q. Who was responsible for firing the shots outside of Bhola's house?
A. I don't know. I don't know. I only heard the shots firing . . . Yes there were many shots . . . Its from a rifle either a rifle or a revolver, in any case shots were firing.

  1. Innocent Belmar:
Q. When you saw Dr. Gibbs there, had you yet known that any of the men was injured?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Did you not think that as a police officer purely on humanitarian grounds that you may have allowed the doctor to see the men?
A. I thought so, sir, but I will give you my reasons now which I though was a very good one . . . I took into consideration that I had at least 150 police aides at the police station. There were onlookers on the public road. There was a large crowd. People from both sides - when I say both sides I mean Government and Opposition. I considered also that I had at least 20 policemen at the police station, police only in addition to the 150 police aides, and I said the manner in which things were going on at the police station, the behaviour of the SRP's, it was a very suicidal business to have those men, putting them before these men to beat them. That is the decision that I took which I thought was right.
Q. Were you and your regular policemen in a position adequately to control the police aides?
A. I wouldn't say so, sir.
Q. Would you say that there was in fact a threat to the preservation of law and order that night?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. And would it therefore be correct to say that such threat as existed came from the police aides?
A. I agree sir. That's what I'm saying.
Q. Was there no means of getting rid of the police aides while respecting the health of your prisoners?
A. I did not see any means of getting rid of the police aides.

Q. You didn't intend to let them have any legal advice or medical advice?
A. No, sir."

  1. David Andrews:
    "I heard firearms being discharged at the back of Bhola's building . . . (Inspector Belmar was there) It may be a rifle or a shot gun . . . It may be a rifle . . . Nobody gave the order to fire."
Q. What is being suggested Inspector is that the people who had inflicted the injury were part of a large crowd of police aides and that they were behaving in a most uproarious manner. Is that correct?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. That the police aides were in such rude attitudes that the security of the station was threatened?
A. Yes, sir..
Q. It is also suggested that if the cell had been opened that the police aides were likely to venture into the cells and kill the men.
A. Yes, sir.
Q. . . . . . from what you were saying the police force at Grenville that Sunday were unable to control the police aides who were there.
A. Yes, sir.

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