More Grenada police charged in Canadian's death

AP News
Posted: Jan 01, 2012 5:49 PM
More Grenada police charged in Canadian's death

Three more police officers were charged with manslaughter in the beating death of a Canadian man who was visiting the eastern Caribbean country of Grenada, police commanders announced Sunday.

A police statement said officers Edward Gibson, Shaun Ganness and Ruddy Felix were arrested and charged Sunday in the beating death of 39-year-old Oscar Bartholomew of Toronto, who was visiting the island about 100 miles north of Venezuela to visit family.

Relatives have accused a group of officers of beating Bartholomew into a coma last Monday after he mistook a plainclothes female police officer for a friend and lifted her for a hug in front of a police station in the island's southeast. Bartholomew died of his injuries at a local hospital a day after the beating.

The Sunday arrests brought the number of police suspects to five. Officers Kenton Hazzard and Wendell Sylvester were charged previously after being detained on Thursday.

It is unclear if the five officers charged have an attorney. The suspects are due to appear before a judge on Tuesday.

The first two arrests of the police constables came shortly after police interviewed a witness, according to Derick Sylvester, an attorney for the victim's family.

Devon Rachae, a spokesman for the victim's family, said an independent autopsy found that Bartholomew died of trauma to the head as well as multiple injuries to the body. A state autopsy report came to similar but less detailed conclusions.

Bartholomew had stopped at the police station in the town of St. David's because his wife needed to use the restroom, relatives said.