Grenada police have confirmed that three of the four persons charged in connection with a physical confrontation with a police officer at the Outrageous Pure White event held at Moonlight City at La Potrie, St. Andrew’s on Carnival Saturday night had Canadian connections.
The police confirmed that one person was shot by lawmen who came in as re-enforcement to assist their injured colleague.
The lawmen also said that investigations are still being conducted into the La Potrie incident by the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) and that more persons could be charged.
Speaking to reporters at a press conference held last Friday at Police headquarters on Fort George, Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of Operations, Edvin Martin said that a civilian was shot after several persons attending the fete overpowered a plain-clothes police officer on duty as he was responding to a fight involving several persons.
ACP Martin also refuted claims being made in some quarters that the officer who was in plain clothes had not identified himself to his attackers when he alleged responded to reports of a fight that had broken out among patrons attending the party.
“As far as I do understand, is that the officer was responding to the incident and in the process would have identified himself as an officer in an effort to put an end to a fight”, he said.
The persons who were charged and appeared before a Grenville Magistrate’s court last week Wednesday were 20-year old Andell Benjamin of Mt Rich, St Patrick, 36-year old Terry Phillip, 21-year-old Darien Patrick and 23 year old Damion Benjamin all of Ontario, Canada who were charged with grievous harm.
According to Martin, the accused pleaded guilty to the offence and were each fined $500 and ordered to pay $1000 each to the injured officer.
THE NEW TODAY understands that a local attorney-at-law who represented the four advised them against contesting the case and to plead guilty since they were due to leave the island within days and that the case might present problems with them being allowed to leave the state.
A well-placed source told this newspaper that as part of the plea bargain, the court decided not to put on the file of the accused men the criminal offence committed against the Police Officer.
In December 2011, police in Grenada featured prominently in the Canadian press when Oscar Bartholomew, a Grenadian who became a naturalized Canadian citizen died in hospital from injuries sustained at the hands of lawmen at a Police Station in St. David’s.
During the press briefing, ACP Martin brushed aside reports that the incident with the police officer started when a bracelet from one of the Canadian fell to the ground and the police bent down to pick it up.
An informed source said that the police officer did not identify himself and a dispute started which resulted in the physical confrontation.
ACP Martin informed the media that the incident had been closed and that was the end of the matter.
However, when the press conference was about to end the issue resurfaced and ACP Martin again indicated that the case was close and had come to an end with the conviction of the four accused persons.
One reporter informed the lawmen that he heard this was not the case and that investigation was still continuing since the “real culprits” who attacked and beat the Police Officer were still at large and the police were looking for them.
ACP Martin seemed surprised and looked in the direction of his colleague, Assistant Commissioner of Police for Crime, Michael Francois for assistance.
ACP Francois confirmed that the case is not closed.
He said: “The officer reported that he was attacked by a number of persons but four persons were identified – we are still carrying out investigation on those other persons who may have been involved”.
A senior lawyer informed this newspaper that with four persons already brought to court and pleading guilty to the offence, it is highly unlikely that a Magistrate will be willing to convict another batch of men for the same offence.
ACP Francois also confirmed reports circulating in the country that two of the convicted persons involved in the incident with the police officer are sons or step sons of police officers attached to RGPF.