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

Part II

Summary of Incidents on 18th November, 1973

Paragraphs 35 thru 37. - Summary of the Events, as they happened, in brief chronological order

35. Maurice Bishop, Kenrick Radix, Hudson Austin, Unison Whiteman, Selwyn Strachan and Simon Daniel arrived in Grenville at about 3 p.m. in two motor cars, driven by Bishop and Austin respectively. The men were prevented by the police from entering the cinema.

Inspector Andrews was in charge of the police party. The cars were then driven to Mr. Bhola's residence and parked in the street.

Mr. Bhola went into his house to speak on the telephone.

Mr. Simon Daniel had left the car and gone off on an errand of his own. He was returning towards Bhola's house when he was stopped by Inspector Andrews and a number of men armed with batons and axe handles. Inspector Andrews searched Daniel for firearms but did not find any. Andrews ordered Daniel to move on and at the same time is alleged to have said to the police aides 'Take him dogs' whereupon three of them, Thaddeus Jones (a/c Bloody Bar), Terrence Jones (a/c Crow Bag) and George Thomas (a/c Shine) 'lashed' Daniel with sticks.

He [Simon Daniel] ran to Bhola's house where he joined the other five of his group.

Just about this time Inspector Belmar drove up in his car, jumped out with a gun in his hand and ordered the 'Six' to move.

Austin, Radix and Daniel, who were nearest to Bhola's gate ran upstairs, leaving behind Bishop, Whiteman, and Strachan, who ran around to the back of Bhola's house, pursued by a number of police aides.

There is no evidence as to exactly what happened behind the house but Daniel says he peeped through a louvre window and saw Strachan being beaten by a number of men including Errol Mason, Lydon Bowen, Augustus Alexis, Terence Jones and Thaddeus Jones.

Daniel then went out on the verandah to get a better view but immediately George Thomas pointed a shot gun at him so he ran back inside and lay on the floor. Shots were being fired into the house.

36. Belmar ordered Bhola to put the three men out of his house. Eventually Belmar went upstairs and got Austin, Radix and Daniel to go with him.

They were escorted to the police station.

Belmar states that he searched the cars and found a .303 rifle and ammunition in one car and 15 rounds of .32 ammunition in the other car. The finding of arms and ammunition in the cars was challenged by counsel for the Six.

On reaching the station Daniel says that Belmar said to the escorting aides 'Do your duty boys." The three of them were taken inside and police aides Terence Jones and Thaddeus Jones proceeded to cut their hair with scissors and a bit of broken bottle.

The three of them were then put in the cell, clad only in their underpants. In the cell Daniel saw the other three men, Bishop, Whiteman and Strachan, together with two other men. The hair on the heads of Bishop, Whiteman and Strachan had been cut and all three men had wounds which were bleeding. The hair-cuts which the Six men had received were rough - and jagged, with furrows and the Commissioners were told it is known locally as a 'Belmar Special.'

The cell in which the eight men spent the night measured approximately 6 feet x 10 feet. It had a concrete floor on which there was a raised concrete slab 6" above floor level.

That night several applications were made to Inspector Belmar for medical assistance for the injured prisoners but this was refused. Maurice Bishop was very seriously injured. His jaw was fractured (see the medical certificate of Mr. Dennis L. Bailey F.R.C.S., E.N.T. Specialist of Barbados in Schedule A of Appendix II) [Not available for inclusion on this site].

Two doctors, Dr. Lawrence Gibbs and Dr. Charles were taken to the Police Station to see the injured men, particularly Maurice Bishop, but Belmar refused to let them see the men. There is clear evidence that Mr. Belmar's behaviour was not only inhumane and uncouth but he was 'arrogant and insulting' as the Rev. Father Coxhead said. Fr. Coxhead and Fr. Bernard Kadlek had taken Dr. Gibbs, the Government Medical Officer at the Princess Alice Hospital to the police station to see Maurice Bishop. Belmar told them that he was not badly hurt and he had received orders that no one was to see the prisoners.

37. No charges had been preferred against the Six men and they were not told why they were being detained. Bail was refused.

Mr. Rupert Bishop, the father of Maurice Bishop, himself a Justice of the Peace of 15 years standing took Mr. Michael Sylvester, a practising barrister, to the station to apply for bail. Inspector Belmar told Mr. Sylvester that he would give him one minute to leave the station or he would put him in the cell with the others. Thus repulsed, Mr. Sylvester left hurriedly.

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