Two Grenada officers charged with manslaughter in beating death of Toronto man

“It’s been an emotionally trying time for the family,” said Derick Sylvester, adding Mr. Bartholomew’s mother arrived in Grenada on Friday. She was so upset after meeting with some government officials that she had to be hospitalized, Mr. Sylvester said.

Kenton Hazzard and Wendell Sylvester, both junior officers, were charged Saturday. Their ages were not made immediately known.

If found guilty, the officers’ possible penalty ranges from a fine to a maximum of 15 years in prison.

Mr. Bartholomew, a 39-year-old man fromToronto, who was on the Caribbean island over the Christmas holidays, is alleged to have been beaten by police on Boxing Day. He died a day later in hospital.

A second autopsy on the man’s body was scheduled for Saturday, the lawyer for the man’s family said Friday.

Mr. Bartholomew’s family had flown Dr. Hubert Daisley, a pathologist from nearby Trinidad, to Grenada to perform another post-mortem, Derick Sylvester said.

Mr. Bartholomew’s death certificate, signed by pathologist Dr. Nicholas Redhead, cites the cause of death as increased intracranial pressure, subdural bleeding and trauma to the head with skull fractures.

But the family is concerned that Dr. Redhead’s examination didn’t involve any X-rays to check for broken bones or fractured ribs, Sylvester said Friday.

“I am of the opinion that the first autopsy is not as thorough,” he said. “The autopsy that was done is solely the removal of the skull and the T-opening of the chest and an external observation.”

The family also believes Dr. Daisley is more qualified, Mr. Sylvester said, adding that he has provided evidence for court cases in Grenada in the past.

“In these cases, when you intend to proceed to court via the civil route, or even criminal, two heads is always better than one,” the lawyer said.

Mr. Bartholomew was originally from Grenada. He was a permanent Canadian resident visiting family on the island nation when he died on Tuesday.

Mr. Bartholomew and his wife, Dolette, were visiting the city of St. David on Monday when she needed to use the washroom, Mr. Sylvester said. She chose one at the police station, thinking it would be the safest.

While waiting outside, Mr. Bartholomew is thought to have mistaken a female police officer for an old family friend. He ran over to her, picking her up in a hug before realizing it wasn’t his friend.

Versions of the story differ as to whether the officer was in uniform or in plainclothes.

Mr. Sylvester said Mr. Bartholomew put the woman down after realizing the mistake.

Other officers considered it an assault on an officer, and took Mr. Bartholomew inside the police station where he was beaten, Mr. Sylvester said.

The family’s lawyer also said there are now two eyewitnesses to the events.

One witness gave a written statement to the Royal Grenada Police Force, saying five police officers restrained Mr. Bartholomew’s hands and feet before beating him, Sylvester said.

The other witness is in police custody and is reluctant to share what he saw, Mr. Sylvester said.

“In a small society like Grenada, when you give evidence like that in court against police officers, it could have repercussions,” he said.

Mr. Sylvester said police are keeping him up-to-date with the investigation, but he hasn’t received any updates about the junior officers detained by police on Thursday or any news of possible arrests.

On Thursday, two officers were detained in the investigation. But Friday night, Richard Simon, a spokesman for Prime Minister Tillman Thomas said two more officers had been detained after another witness stepped forward.

Police were unavailable for comment on Saturday.

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