NEWS

Toronto Man Dead In Grenada: Second Autopsy Underway, Police Accused Of Brutality

12/31/2011 10:27 EST | Updated 03/01/2012 05:12 EST
YouTube
ST. GEORGES, Grenada - Two police officers in Grenada were charged with manslaughter in the beating death of a Toronto man and police aren't ruling out the possibility of more charges.

The investigation into the death of 39-year-old Oscar Bartholomew involves "a wider pool" of officers, said Frank Redhead, Deputy Commissioner of the Royal Grenada Police.

"The investigation is progressing, it continues, and from what I understand, more charges are likely to be laid into the future," Redhead said in a phone interview Saturday.

Derick Sylvester, a lawyer for Bartholomew's family said earlier Saturday that three other officers have also been detained in the case but not charged.

Bartholomew was visiting relatives in the eastern Caribbean island, which relies heavily on tourism to sustain its economy.

Relatives have accused officers of beating Bartholomew into a coma on Monday after he mistook a plainclothes female police officer for a friend and lifted her for a hug in front of a police station.

Shem Pierre, Bartholomew’s cousin, said in a telephone interview that he hopes all those involved, even as bystanders, will be charged.

But he praised police for pressing charges.

“It does bring a bit of satisfaction,” he said.

The arrests came shortly after police interviewed a witness, said Sylvester, the lawyer.

Sylvester 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 station in the southwestern part of the island because his wife needed to use the restroom, relatives said.

A spokesman for Diane Ablonczy, minister of state of foreign affairs, said officials are providing consular assistance to Bartholomew's family.

It was unclear if the officers charged have an attorney.

-with files from The Associated Press