Let’s Discuss This Again: Nation News Finally Discovers That Barbados Police Don’t Give A Damn About Rule Of Law

“For as in absolute governments the king is law, so in free countries the law ought to be king; and there ought to be no other.” Thomas Payne, 1776

The Rule of Law, in its most basic form, is the principle that no one is above the law.

Two Nation News articles appearing online today might mean that the lapdog editors at that rag are finally waking up to the truth about how the Royal Barbados Police Force operates without accountability, effective civilian oversight or the least concern about the foundation of our society that is called Rule Of Law. (Rule of Law definition here)

We Don’t Do Inquests Into Police Shootings In Barbados

In Barbados, police officers can shoot an unarmed man in the back of the head because he wouldn’t stop for police while on his bicycle at night – and there will be no inquest or civilian oversight of any police investigation. (BFP story link here)

The island news media will never mention the occurrence again. It is like it never even happened.

The innocent young man who now lives with bullet fragments in his brain will not complain about the police either.

The thugs from the Royal Barbados Police Force put a bullet into Stefan Griffith’s skull for nothing… what do you think will happen if he complains now?

That is not exactly the picture of Barbados justice that we love to portray abroad. When it suits us, we prefer the fairytale that this is “Little Britain” where democracy, individuals’ rights and rule of law are not merely showpiece window dressing, but the very foundation of society.

In truth, Barbados is more like a country where the people have yet to hear about the Magna Carta.

Remember Glenroy Brathwaite? No?

You should make it a point to remember Glenroy Brathwaite. (Also spelled Brathwhaite in some stories.) At best he died because of the criminal neglect of Barbados police officers.

At worst, he was murdered – beaten to death by officers of the Royal Barbados Police Force.

Back in December of 2006, Glenroy Brathwaite was arrested by Barbados Police for… what? The public was never really told although if you read between the lines of a newspaper article he may have been drunk in public.

Glenroy’s sister saw him and says he had been roughed up by the police and left lying on the floor in his own blood, urine and faeces. No charges were laid against Glenroy, and less than 24 hours after being released from police custody, his cold and bruised body was lying in the hospital morgue.

It looks like Glenroy Brathwaite was beaten while in the custody of police – and beaten so badly that he died later in the day.

That could be murder – but there will be no inquest. (BFP story link here.)

Typical Barbados Inquest Into A Death In Police Custody

When asked about Glenroy Brathwaite’s death, Commissioner of Police Dottin told reporters he would (yawn)look into it”. The last Nation News article before the story was made to disappear was titled “No Marks of Violence” on Dead Man… and then the story explained that Brathwaite had a fractured skull!

So the inquest that we had was one police officer saying he would “look into it” and another man – a pathologist – saying that Glenroy’s skull was fractured… but there were no marks of violence. Typical Barbados inquest.

What Police Complaints Authority?

Back in April of 2008, Barbados Free Press called the Police Complaints Authority a fraud. In an article (link here) we said…

Did you know that the Barbados Police Complaints Authority was (sort of) established in 2004, but that it never met once from April 2005 to mid 2007?

That same article by BFP details how a judge took the Barbados police to task for failure to perform internal investigations and how the police delayed and manipulated for four years until assault charges against police officers faded off into nothing as per usual. (How do court cases regularly disappear in Barbados? See The Strange Disappearing Court Cases Of Barbados – And How The News Media Keeps Silent)

Barbados Police Ignore Politically-Motivated Death Threats & Arson Against Foreign Investor

And then there is the story of British foreign investor Adrian Loveridge, who came to Barbados so many years ago and fell in love with the land and the people.

The BLP Government was happy with him when he purchased a hotel, invested money, provided jobs and became a huge vocal supporter of our tourism industry.

But when Adrian dared to publish a few letters criticizing government wastage – however gently – he was fired from his newspaper column, banned by the Tourism Minister from taking part in the public discussions about the industry that he knows so well.

Then as the elections drew near, there were online threats of murder and arson. Adrian’s hotel was arsoned TWICE after the arson threats were delivered. In our story COVER-UP: Royal Barbados Police Force Ignores Violent Threats To Businessman, you can read about the entire disgusting case.

Many of the threats came from a computer at the Barbados Parliament that is used by MP William Duguid. This was confirmed by none other than the Secretary General of the Barbados Labour Party, Doctor William Duguid, himself. (Dr. Duguid’s comments are here)

Did The Police Push I’Akobi Tacuma Maloney To His Death?

My friends, we could go on and on about police wrong-doing in Barbados. If you insert the word “police” into the search box near the top of Barbados Free Press, you can read for hours.

But we will leave you with the death of I’Akobi Tacuma Maloney – a young man who met his death while being “interviewed” or “spoken with” by officers of the Royal Barbados Police Force on Tuesday, June, 17, 2008. (Barbados Underground article: Mystery Shrouds Death Of I’Akobi Tacuma Maloney)

There will be no public inquest into his death. There will be no public process to examine the circumstances of how he died while “in the company of” Barbados police. Eventually, the local news media will quietly let the story fade into the past, and people will say “Well, there was some sort of inquiry and it showed…” BUT THAT WILL BE A LIE.

No, Barbados is not yet Zimbabwe, but in many things – especially the absence of the Rule of Law and zero accountabilty of out-of-control police force thugs – Barbados is a hell of a lot closer to Zimbabwe than to Britain or the United States.

Further Reading at the pathetic lapdog Nation News…

Caricom, Crime and Rule Of Law

Standstill – Public Complaints Against Police


Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Human Rights, Offshore Investments, Police, Politics & Corruption

53 responses to “Let’s Discuss This Again: Nation News Finally Discovers That Barbados Police Don’t Give A Damn About Rule Of Law

  1. Thomas Gresham


    This is a very important issue. Rule of law sounds reactionary to some, but were it to be replaced by favourtitism and cover ups society will disintegrate.

    We need a truly independent Police Complaints Authority that automatically investigates any death in or after custody. To be truly independent in a small island we may need to appoint a panel of external observers who have nothing to lose but their reputations if they let the rule of law been bent.

    Policemen should be paid better, but they also be trained better and be more accountable for their actions.

    Well done BFP for raising this issue.

  2. Anon

    There are cases dating back to the early sixties that I can remember of people being beaten to death while in Police custody in Barbados and no one was called to account.

    I remember one man in particular who was beaten to death in the Black Rock Police station and one of the policemen who beat him to death went to retire as an Asst. Commisioner Of Police, he was know as “Orey Pomp”.

  3. On April 26th, I wrote a post:
    “Do the Barbadian Police Use Excessive Force?” Quote from this post: “One man suffered severe injury to his abdomen, liver, and colon and had to undergo extensive emergency surgery for life-threatening internal bleeding.”

    On March 1st, I wrote a post which addresses the issue of police shootings: “Barbados Cop Waits 3 Years to be Cleared in Fatal Shooting”

  4. Fool me once

    Rule of law? More like me de law and me rule.

    De Chief Justice send his brother to threaten a lawyer – sometimes he do the threatening hisself on de back room – so who gonna stop this by the police. No respect for the law at the top means the police get to do anything they want.

    Lord need you send us a top lawman who understands that if you let this go on we gone down the road to real trouble.

  5. Red Lake Lassie

    If foreigners only knew what the police are like they would never invest money on Barbados. things are deteriorating rapidly on Bim. The police are like a gang that does whatever it want. Bad bad times ahead you mark my word.

  6. Bimbro

    Well done, BFP. Another hard-hitting aritcle exposing the scant regard for the Rule Of Law, in Bim and illustrates the huge amount of work which the DLP yet, have to do. Wish they’d get on with it!!

  7. Bimbro

    BFP, I do so hope your colleague was only being discreet when recently, stating that ‘you did n’t hope to become the govt.’, as it must be obvious to all that perhaps, only yourselves may have the desired moral-backbone to put these measures into place! I sincerly, hope that you won’t disappoint us all!

  8. Bimbro

    The deeper, I delve into this story the more difficult it becomes to regard Barbados as other than ‘a joke-country’ in its attitude towards Law and Order.

  9. Anon

    What is amazing to me is the fact that this situation is being debated as if it is something of recent vintage.

    The police in Barbados has been this way for decades.

    Lion Man, Barney Lynch, Whittaker, Orey Pomp, Fancy Baskets, Dorian Taylor to name a few.
    These were Policemen/Killers in Uniform.

    Many of them went on to finish at the top of the Police Force. So what is this saying?

  10. Tony Hall

    It is amazing how you guys relish in attacking the Police. Their morale is already low as a result of inadequate pay and not so good working conditions and you are throwing gasoline on fire. Previous administrations must share the blame, especially this last one which as from the mouth of its leader stated the the “Police are not that special.”

    You mentioned that Orie Pomp and other policemen killed a man at Black Rock Police Station. If you had those facts then how come you didn’t make a report? You were not doing your civic duty.


    BFP says,

    Maybe anon didn’t want a bullet in the back of the head as he was riding his bicycle home unarmed – and then have the only public inquiry being the Police Commissioner saying, “(yawn) I’ll look into it”

  11. 316.89

    Welcome to Africa..
    1,800 miles to the West.

  12. 536

    I always thought that when the cops told you to stop
    but what do I know?

    And den when de rebel yute get shoot
    it’s the Police fault?

    I’m sooo old fashioned!

  13. crossroads

    All respect for the police has been lost, and I am not sure how they will recover from this situation. I was raised to respect and don’t mess with the police, if you do… well deal with the consequences. I agree there are some corrupt police but please don’t paint all with that brush.

  14. 536

    Crossroads is right in his stance..
    although I wouldn’t say ALL respect has been lost.
    Certainly among De Yutes (under-30s)
    there isn’t much respect for them.

    Re. his question.. “All respect for the police has been lost, and I am not sure how they will recover from this situation.”
    it wouldn’t hurt to double their current lousy salary
    but given the nasty economic situation the Dems have found us to be in(post-blp slackness!)
    that ain’t gonna happen anytime soon!

  15. Beefcake

    Even if you don’t double the salary, you could be inventive in benefits to police officers. Some countries have a “blood tax” (impot du sang) where officers in the military and/or police force do not pay income taxes on their salary because of their duties being performed for the country.

    But the problem with the policing is a pervasive problem, from the head down to the new recruits. It needs an overhaul that requires new, external leadership or complete dismantling and replacement by the Armed Forces until it can be restructured.

    Law enforcement appears aribitrary, inconsistent, and discriminatory. People in Barbados do not respect the law; any traffic intersection or traffic light will prove that, or any amount of litter casually tossed on the streets.

    There is so much that can be said on this topic, but anything said will be meaningless in bringing about real change…

  16. Kudos to you for this article.

    At the same time, you should really refrain from the implication that things are better in the US and England.

    They aren’t necessarily any better for a “lower-class” black man, especially one with dreadlocks or otherwise “unapproved” hair or clothes.

    Don’t buy into the slave mentality that the Anglo-American way is better. It often isn’t.

  17. Tony Hall

    I might be wrong but I get the impression that you are anti-Police. Did anyone in your fraternity have a run-in with the police?


    BFP says,

    Maybe one of our fraternity was shot in the back of the head while innocently riding his bicycle home and the police are accountable only to themselves. Or perhaps one of our fraternity had the police use a pre-signed blank search warrant to raid their home like Ronja Juman.

    Or perhaps as citizens we realize how dangerous it is when the police answer to no civilian oversight.

  18. Anon


    It would not have made any difference.

  19. John

    …. we really don’t give a damn about each other so why should the Police!!!

    Good investigative journalism should bring to the fore how many such cases exist and what is their status.

    But if we don’t really give a damn, why should our journalists bother either? Why spend time doing that level of detailed work when no one appreciates it.

    The ball is in our court.

    All we need to do is ask the right questions of the right people.

    We really have not got a clue what being our brother’s keeper means.

    We have some growing up to do.

  20. D.Lawe is an axe?

    Re. “People in Barbados do not respect the law;
    any traffic intersection or traffic light will prove that”….

    I want you to know that I and hundreds of Bajan motorists
    now routinely take a Left on a Red Light
    once the road is ascertained to be clear and safe to proceed in such a manner!

    Gone are the days when we can afford the luxury of stopping and staring at a red light
    a la Pavlov’s Dog,
    while we wait on a freakin switch?

    Sorry…I have places to go, things to do, money to make, people to see.
    I go left on a Red Light, once it’s clear
    -and you should too!
    We’re a big grown up nation now.

    Hopefully the local cops no longer make axes of themselves by reporting people for going thru amber lights.

    That was a cop-hobby until awhile back
    but I’d like to think we hustle our tails and go thru the Amber rather than brake dangerously and get the guy behind ..up our rears!

  21. crossroads

    Some of our traffic lights are already designed for such a move. I belive it will be at all traffic light junctions once pratical. So I am not sure you’re a terrible law breaker DLawe,we forgive you.

  22. D.Lawe is an axe?

    Thank you,Crossroads..
    I appreciate your forgiving me.

    I just wanted to bring up the subject and make it clear
    because there are too many Pavlov’s Dogs on the island who will sit at a light and wait on nothing.

    Many Bajans still fear the Fist Of God that exists over every traffic light intersection
    waiting to pound any ‘bad’ car into the ground.

  23. ru4real

    Ditto the umpteen stop signs such as the one in Spieghtstown on the corner of Almond Beach. You can see if the road is clear almost up to the lights yet how many times is a PC stationed around the corner ready to catch someone who doesn’t actually stop.
    ‘Give way’ would be far more suitable and free up the police for more serious duties than poncing on hapless drivers who have not done any harm at all.

  24. D.Lawe is an axe?

    Traffic lights are there to control traffic
    (i.e. two or more vehicles)

    But when there is no traffic(your car only)
    it is your social duty to check the road and proceed,
    regardless of the state of the switch mechanism.

    Anyone who stops at a red light for its entire duration at 3:30 a.m.
    is more axx than the law !
    -and there are lots and lots of Bajan sheep who will stop and wait it out – at 3:30 a.m.
    unbelievably so!

    I ‘marvel’ every day at the sheer intellectual status of many who I share these roads with!!

  25. Anon

    A piece of information of old vintage.

    I am sure that many of you remember when Foggartys of Broad Street burned down.

    What might not be common knowledge is the fact that many items of great value were transfered from Foggarty to the Bridge Police Station for safe keeping because of the fire.

    This caused a feeding frenzy among Policemen and women who were on duty there. They stole most of the items. Over the years many of these Police thieves went on to top positions in the Royal Barbados Police Force.

    Now I ask you, people who were compromised such as these do you expect that they would be in a position to discipline any subordinate accused of any wrong doing?

    What happened at the Bridge Police Station, which was located next where the Boat yard nightclub is now situated, was common knowledge in the Police Force.

    No one was held accountable.

  26. Tony Hall

    Very strong statement to make!!!!

  27. Anon

    Tony Hall

    “Very strong statement to make!!!!”

    …but VERY true.

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  29. J

    Dear Beefcake:

    You is an idiot or what? You talk casually about the police being replaced by the “armed forces”?

    Over my dead body.

    I did not vote for any rule by any army.

    And tobesides our soldiers are even more ignorant/stupid than our police

  30. Pingback: Global Voices Online » Barbados: What happened to I’Akobi Tacuma Maloney?

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  32. WildyCoyte.

    They announced yesterday that the case is closed and that the youth committed suicide,oh well,he ain’t no big up body child so this one is swept under the carpet just like countless others in the past,my best advice for poor rastafarian youths is to stay out of trouble and far from the police.

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  34. Tony Hall

    Keep bashing the police. Maybe you want the Defence Force to take over.

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  37. Aurora E. Hunter

    Don’t be so sure that everything is sunshine and roses in the U.S. Here’s what happened to me:

    At 7:30 pm I learned that my transportation failed me one night while visiting my mother at her nursing home, so I was unable to leave by 7:30 pm when visiting hours ended. I explained that I had no transportation. no place to go, and as they knew, there are no taxis in Mt. Vernon, so I needed to use the telephone to try to make some arrangements–and that it was now snowing.

    At 7:40 pm, while I was using the telephone in my mother’s room, a huge (6’3″?) young policeman came into her room saying that he had been summoned by the director to evict me for trespassing. My mother was taken to a room across the hall. The attendant told her that the lady there wanted to talk to her, which is not true. I followed to say goodbye to my mother, who I didn’t know if I would see alive again. After kissing her goodbye I tried to put my coat on, but the policeman grabbed my arm . I told him to take his hands off me and to let me put on my coat as it was cold outside. I never did get my coat on, as he grabbed me by the left arm and shoved me out the bedroom door to the hall and said “You’re goin’ down.” Once clear of the doorway, he jerked my left hand high up behind my back, threw me down on the hall floor while one of the attendants closed the door of the bedroom, threw himself on top of me, handcuffed me, called for reenforcements and dragged me to my feet. I told him that he must be very proud of himself. I am a 65-year old woman.

    From the start I told him that the metal handcuffs were hurting and that I wanted to put my coat on as I am not used to snowy, cold weather. He responded by slamming me face-first into the wall by the entrance to the facility. When the second huge, older policeman arrived I was still up against the wall and the first told him that I had “an attitude problem,” to which the second policeman replied. “I can see that.”

    The first policeman then grabbed my left arm to walk me to his patrol car, but he was walking so briskly that I could hardly keep up with him and I was still pleading for my coat and telling him that my purse, heavy with camera equipment, had slid down my arm and was hanging between the handcuffs and further hurting my wrists, when I slipped on the snowy sidewalk and fell. The policeman said that it was obvious that I’d thrown myself down because he didn’t fall, but in his formal police statement he said that he let me fall because he was afraid that I’d cause him to fall.

    I was driven by the first policeman to what I thought was the police station, with the other one following. Once we arrived, the second policeman put my coat over my shoulders, but the satin lining slipped and the second policeman said that I shrugged it off when I was attempting to keep it on my shoulders. It later developed that I was at the sheriff’s jail.

    Meanwhile, I was not read my Miranda rights, was told that I had five different charges lodged against me, and that I would be going to jail. They told me that the director of the Mt. Vernon assisted care facility had told them that I was schizophrenic, which is untrue and defamatory, and that she had barred me from the facility. I asked for an attorney, but they said that they didn’t have to provide me one.

    I was shocked to see my wrists bleeding, bruised, and swollen when the handcuffs were removed. I could not get a signal on my cellphone in the building and the only phone they provided only gave me access to a recording to make collect calls, which I was unable to make, so they said that I was too stupid to use the phone. I have an 800 number for a friend who is an attorney in another state, but I was unable to contact him while in custody. The deputy at the desk asked what state I was born in and didn’t like it when I told him that I hadn’t been born in a state.

    I refused to give my social security number, which I know that by law is not an ID number and that I am not required to use it for other than social security purposes. I was told to change into prison garb, but after removing my shoes I was told that they had changed their minds. I was unable to tie my shoelaces and they refused. A paramedic was summoned, who kindly tied my shoelaces for me and said that he did not think that my wrist was broken, but offerred to take me to the hospital for X-rays. He bandaged my left arm. The law enforcement officers present declined responsibility for medical expenses regarding my injury in their custody, so I declined to go to the hospital.

    Some time later I was released into the night and was able to make phone calls on my cellphone. After being released I was summoned back inside the building, where My right hand injuries were photographed and my bandaged left arm was photographed. I said that I wanted to file a complaint and it was at that time that I learned that I was not at the police station. I was told that I’d have to go in person to the police chief’s office during working hours on Monday through Friday to register a complaint. I also asked for the EMT’s telephone number, which I was not given, but who returned to take me to the hospital, at my expense, where X-rays showed breaks in my ulna and my radius.

    It used to be that one had to be of a certain color to receive such treatment from the U.S. police, but I am 100% caucasian (white). There is no question in my mind but that a police state prevails in the U.S. If the “men in blue” were to remove their blue shirts, brown shirts would be revealed.

    And if you want to know what our dear leader will do next, check out Hitler’s operations; Bush’s corelate quite nicely.

  38. Tony Hall

    No new stories?????

  39. twobits

    Chill out Tony,

    BFP has stolen an idea from BU and is publishing older stories once in a while if they are still newsworthy.

    Unlike the traditional media who cover a story and then let it drop even though it has not been resolved, the bloggers keep things fresh. That’s why BFP still publishes stories of police abuse because the police still operate without oversight.

    Has the Commissioner explained why his officer shot the unarmed man in the back of the head? Has the officer been disciplined? Was there any public enquiry?

    NO NO and NO!!!!

    Keep publishing this story until the police explain BFP!!!!

  40. Chicago

    Free press published 3 new stories today plus this reprint. Not good enough for you or is it that you just don’t like stories that criticise the DLP government? (to tony hall)

  41. sabta

    What happened to the I’Akobi Tacuma Maloney inquest? Is it over?

  42. Hal Austin

    Why is it that successive governments in Barbados have failed to deal with the biggest organised criminals in the country – lawyers.
    It is common knowledge that lawyers embezzle clients’ money by accessing their accounts, fail to turn up in court on appointed dates, produce shoddy paper work and often farm out sections of their work to third-parties who do not have any professional qualifications, professional indemnity insurance and who themselves do shoddy work.
    Yet, instead of legislating these organised criminals out of business, governments allow the so-called professional association to remain in charge of discipline.
    Here is an issue you should take up.

    Hal Austin, London

  43. reality check

    Barbados is a country that is firmly entrenched in the concept of the Golden Rule.

    He who owns the gold rules.

    In Barbados case, the gold is the government treasury without any transparent rules. It is very much a one industry town and those in power become the bullys.

    Keep repeating the story BFP as it appears that
    Barbadians are slow to learn or are unable to elect people who can effect real change.

    Until then there will be no Rule of Law.

  44. K-K

    Surely this must be Jamaica! Only things like that can happen there! Wait … no … at least the Jamaican’s protest and there IS some accountability when innocents are shot.

  45. Both these stories are old, a decade ago, but in the second story these cops could still be on the “beat”.

    Foreign national, Abner Louima was sodomized by NY Police. The press hammered the story and the cops rightfully went to jail.

    In Barbados, two foreign nationals were apparently beaten by Barbadian police. “One man suffered severe injury to his abdomen, liver, and colon and had to undergo extensive emergency surgery for life-threatening internal bleeding.” No one was charged.

    from “Do the Barbadian Police Use Excessive Force?”
    April 26th, 2008

  46. Do the Barbadian Police Use Excessive Force?
    Posted in April 26th, 2008

    link for above:

  47. Slow learner

    I didn’t read the entire thread…But what about the 2 surfer dudes that got beat up in front of an army of witnesses outside the Oval. Remember that was photographed.

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  52. makiala from unseen eye

    In my vision there was a small man like HIM statue but his face was not clear like it was covered in a mist, he was riding on a white horse on the water towards the east, the islands covered in water seemed to follow after him but only the first one had some land mass top the to the rest were just island tops just fallen trees floating in the water that covered the islands. I awoke , hmmmm what a strange vision.
    I am not saying anymore just that something serious seems ahead.

  53. Mark Fenty

    Yes, police brutality has been a problem in the Royal Barbados Police Force for quite sometime now. But who could argue against the fact that in organization good and bad elements do exist, and the Royal Barbados Police is no exception. critics have argue that there is a lack of efficacy on the parte of Commissioner Dottin to address the problem of police brutality in the force. But i remember quite vividly during Police Commissioner Durant tenure, he fired two of the most abusive police in the 1980, Trap Suit Top, and Dirty Harry.