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

Part I

Incidents of Infringements of Constitutional Rights

Paragraph 20. - VI. Joseph Grainger, Eric Campbell and Eslyn Christopher

20. We turn now to the incidents concerned with Joseph Grainger, Eric Campbell and Eslyn Christopher.

There was clear evidence that these three men were severely beaten and humiliated in the Central Police Station, St. Georges, by police aides assisted by at least one of the regular police constables.

Campbell is an active member of the New Jewel Movement and Grainger, who is an ex-policeman, is a supporter of the Jewels. The facts as we found them to be are as follows.

On the 4th of October, 1973, a political meeting was held by the New Jewel Movement close to the police station at St. David. Campbell attended this meeting and sometime after it was over he was driving a car belonging to the N.J.M. towards his home when he was stopped by some policemen in a police transport. The police, who were armed, fired a number of shots in the air. They took Campbell from the car he was in, placed him in their transport and drove him to the police station at St. David.

He was detained at the police station until 3 a.m. next day without being charged. While in the custody of the police he was kicked and beaten by three policemen and a police aide, Alston Hood a/c Thorne. At about 3 a.m. he was told he could go and he left the station.

On the 19th of November, Mr. Campbell was at the St. David Post Office when a police aide named Raphael Brizan (a/c Buck) held him and said "We are looking for you" - Campbell asked "What for?" and Brizan replied "Don't' ask me what for - the Premier said bring all you in - dead or alive."

Campbell was then taken to the St. David police station where police aide Moslyn Bishop (a/c Pram) told the Constable on diary duty, one P.C. Murray "Hold this man here for me and if you let him go your arse is going to pay for it."

A man named Eslyn Christopher was also detained. They were taken by car to the Central Police station, St. Georges. On the way Joseph Grainger was held by the police and police aides. While at the Central Police Station, all three men, Campbell, Christopher and Grainger were severely beaten by a number of police aides, including Moslyn Bishop, Willie Bishop, Raphael Brizan, and Alston Hood (a/c Thorne). Police Constable Phillip Brizan handed a bit of iron wrapped in newspaper to Willie Bishop, who used it to beat the three men.

Another Police Constable, Emmanuel John was also present and he told the aides to desist from beating the prisoners which they did. P.C. John, soon after, left the station to do guard duty at a hotel belonging to the Premier and another constable took his place in a room where the prisoners were. This constable opened a window and admitted several of the police aides who were outside, including Raphael Brizan and Willie Bishop who brought in an instrument often used for flogging, known locally as a "bull-pistle."

Willie Bishop ten proceeded to flog the three prisoners giving each of them several lashes. Some of the aides then took Christopher into the adjoining toilet, pushed his head into the toilet bowl and flushed the toilet. Buckets of water were then thrown over Campbell and Grainger. This was done apparently to wash the blood off their heads and bodies.

Willie Bishop then produced a coil of rope, placed a noose in it and was about to place it around Campbell's neck, when there was a sudden noise and Mr. Nugent David, the acting Commissioner of Police burst into the room. This fortunate intervention by the Commissioner, who had been summoned urgently to the station by one of the office clerks, Sergeant Eugene Rose, saved the three prisoners from any further violence.

It is to be noted that up to this stage the prisoners had not been charged for any offence nor told the reason for their detention. Campbell says that he asked the Commissioner of Police for medical attention but was told by Mr. David "Son I cannot do anything for that. It is Mr. Belmar who is handling the matter (sic) and he is on his way coming down."

Sometime later on Constable Olliverre arrived with warrants from Grenville, charging the three prisoners for possession of dangerous weapons, to wit: cutlasses at Petit Etang on the 29th of October. After the prisoners had been formally charged they were sent to the General Hospital where they were treated by Dr. Low Chew Tung and they were detained in hospital for 6 days. Dr. Low Chew Tung, who has since left Grenada, testified that the three men were "properly beaten." He gave details of the several injuries each had suffered.

It seems unbelievable that an incident of this kind could have taken place in the Central Police Station in the capital of Grenada but there was an abundance of highly credible evidence that it did occur and had it not been for the timely arrival of the acting Commissioner of Police one is unable to say what next may have happened to the unfortunate prisoners..

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