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 162. - THE RIOT ON JANUARY 21, 1974 [PART 12] - The evidence of Philbert Christopher

162. When Asst. Supt. Christopher attended the Commission he was on leave. He was one of three senior police officers enjoying an indefinite term of leave. Nugent David was the most senior and the other was Supt. Layne.

Mr. Christopher was in charge of the Western Division on January 21, 1974. He was at Central Station that day when between 11:00 a.m. - 12 noon he was instructed by ag. Supt. Osbert James to proceed to the Carenage with other police officers. He boarded the police landrover with about 5 or 6 policemen at the back and the drive, another policeman and himself were in front. He remembered that P.C. Myers was among the men who were in the landrover. The policemen were armed with rifles.

When he reached the Carenage he saw about 200 - 300 people by the Cold Storage. They were throwing bottles which contained sweet drinks. He saw lighted torches being thrown by the men in front of Otway House. The landrover dropped the men and drove off. He heard gun shots after which "the lighted torches and bottles continued for five or six minutes and then they ceased."

Q. Where were your men at this time, the policemen that had come?
A. Well the policemen were all around.
Q. Yes, what were they doing? Can you say?
A. Well I don't know if they fired at anyone.
Q. What about tear gas?
A. I don't know if they used any tear gas.
Q. Did you give them any instructions?
A. No, I have them no instructions to use tear gas or any rifle.
Q. Did you give them any instructions at all?
A. No instructions.

During the period Mr. Christopher remained on the scene he saw Asst. Supt. Francis and Inspector Raymond enter Otway House and he saw "People moving to and fro, coming from Otway House." children jumped through the windows. He saw the police "hold on to a man coming from Otway House." He later learned that the man was Rupert Bishop. The police held him lengthwise and put him in the police transport which had parked by Otway House. Mr. Christopher then returned to the Central Station.

Q. Well, did you investigate the incident and find out anything about it?
A. No, sir. I did not investigate the matter, sir.
Q. Well, do you know if th matter was investigated?
A. I don't know, sir.
Q. Up to today you don't know if it is investigated?
A. I don't know, sir.

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