Report of the Duffus Commission of Inquiry into the Breakdown of Law & Order, and Police Brutality in Grenada

Part IV

Events Subsequent to November 18, 1973

Paragraphs 148 thru 149. - THE RIOT ON JANUARY 21, 1974 [PART 2] - The evidence of Eric Pierre [Part B]

148. During the process of busying themselves with the breaking of eggs, Mr. Pierre said that he then saw Moslyn Bishop, also called Pram Bishop, come to the window in the back of the office they occupied. The window faced Tyrrel Street. Moslyn Bishop has been previously referred to as a leader of the Mongoose Gang and an important figure among the police aides.

Pierre said that Moslyn Bishop held in his hand a revolver which he pointed at the screaming women and children and threatened to shoot. Bishop however left without carrying out his threat.

After he left Davidson assured himself "that the coast was clear" and told the women and children to start jumping out of the window of the office which was in the second floor of the building. About that time Pierre said he could hear the doors of Otway House being broken down.

He realised that the police aides had started to enter Otway House, so he and his Vice-President Davidson jumped through the back window to safety.

He returned to Otway House on the following day, Tuesday, January 22, and found that his office had been broken into, broken down and equipment, including the microphone, which the Unions had borrowed, was thrown into the street and smashed. All the windows were badly smashed and broken up. On that day, January 22, at the request of his Unions, he left Grenada for Trinidad and returned two or three days after.

149. After the celebration of Independence on February 7, 1974, Mr. Pierre and a sub-committee comprising Messrs. L. Noel, E.A. Heyliger, C.F. Toppin and Rev. Chandoo went to the Prime Minister, the Hon. E.M. Gairy. One of the points discussed was reparation for the damage done to Otway House on January 21, 1974.

Mr. Pierre said that his Unions considered that Government was responsible for the damage which in their view was done by police aides aided and abetted by members of the Police Force. He said the Prime Minister said he would have the matter investigated and if it was as his Union stated, he would take it to Cabinet and have the matter fixed.

Soon afterwards a team of public works men - technicians - visited Otway House on behalf of the Government to inspect the damage and make an assessment. About three days after, Mr. Roy St. John of the Public Health Department visited Pierre and told him that the Prime Minister had asked him to carry out repairs to Otway House.

About two or three days afterwards the repairs were started by public health workmen under the supervision of Mr. St. John, and all the equipment, including tables and a refrigerator, except the microphone, was replaced.

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