Guns, drugs found as video raises concerns about cops

| 06/06/2016 | 83 Comments
Cayman News Service

Taser incident in Mary Sreet, Grand Cayman, 4 June 2016

(CNS): In a series of incidents on Friday night-Saturday morning, the police arrested three men and recovered a loaded firearm with five rounds of ammunition, a modified loaded flare gun, spent shells and an undisclosed quantity of ganja. One of the incidents, in which a man was shot with a Taser gun by police, is now under investigation, according to the RCIPS. However, a video-tape made by witnesses (see below) that has been posted and re-posted on social media has raised questions about the approach taken by officers during the Taser incident.

The series of gun-related crime began at 11:30pm Friday, when police received a report about a group of men on North Sound Road, one of whom had a firearm, and ended in Mary Street some four hours later with the deployment of the Taser gun on a young man from East End.

When police officers arrived at the scene of the first incident, they spotted the three men answering the report description. One of them ran off and the officers chased him behind a building near to Welly’s Cool Spot. Although they did not find him, during a search of the area they found a loaded firearm with five rounds of ammunition and numerous packages of ganja were recovered from, what police said, was an abandoned car.

Then at 3:00am on Saturday, officers responded to two simultaneous incidents in George Town. One was at the car park of Fete Nightclub on West Bay Road, where a report of gunshots was made to 911. When officers arrived they found a large group of people in the parking lot who appeared inebriated and offered no information about the gunshots. However, during a search of the parking lot police found a spent 9mm shell.

Around the same time, two police officers responded to a report about another man who was said to have a gun that he was showing to people near the Roof Top Bar in Mary Street. Armed officers in police uniform who responded saw a man answering the description. An RCIPS spokesperson said these officers identified themselves as armed police and called for the man to stop and show his hands. When he would not comply, the officers commanded him to get down on the ground, but the suspect still refused, backing away as if to run.

“One officer stepped forward to detain the man, who wriggled out of his grasp and escaped, during the course of which an object resembling a firearm fell from the man’s waistband,” the RCIPS stated in a release Monday. “The second officer pursued the man, who continued to resist arrest and struggle with the officer, behaving in a threatening and aggressive manner. At this point the officer deployed a Taser to contain the suspect,” police added.

It was just before the Taser was fired that the video footage began.

Police said that at this time a crowd had gathered which was advancing toward the officers “in an aggressive and threatening manner”.

The RCIPS report continued, “In the course of this the suspect pulled the Taser probes from his body and ran away, pursued by the first officer along the side of building. Again the suspect challenged both officers and lunged at one of them, during which time the Taser was deployed again. Other officers arrived and assisted with the arrest, while the suspect continued to threaten and struggle.”

The police said that the 22-year-old man from East End was eventually arrested on suspicion of possession of an unlicensed firearm, resisting arrest and assaulting police. He has since been bailed. The weapon police recovered turned out to be a flare gun that had been painted black and contained a spent shell, which, is now being examined.

The police said that during the Mary Street incident a 34-year-old George Town man behaved in an obstructive and threatening manner toward police. He was also arrested on suspicion of obstructing police and has also since been bailed.

Along with the investigations, police said there would be an internal review of the deployment of the Taser, which is standard operating procedure under the use of force policy.

The police criticised the posting of the footage on Facebook by witnesses as well as the many comments being made about the video. What police called a “truncated video portraying only a slice of the incident” has received more than 4,000 views, has been re-posted many times and numerous comments have been posted both on the original and re-posts.

But the RCIPS took aim at those who have commented and had “drawn conclusions about the incident” regarding the officers’ conduct without being in possession of the facts. While people have raised concerns about the behaviour of the police, the RCIPS said its officers were facing a difficult and dangerous incident and have accused those commenting on the footage of possibly giving “validation to recalcitrant young people who are creating a very unsafe environment around places of entertainment for law-abiding citizens.”

The RCIPS also raised concerns about some online threats to officers assumed to have played a role.

“This is not only disheartening to our officers, especially armed officers, who regularly take extreme risks such as those described in the incidents above in order to keep the island safe from the threats of drugs and firearms, but also generally degrades the security of law enforcement and public safety. Such threats will be taken and responded to seriously,” the police warned. “We ask that the community to work with us as we place ourselves in harm’s way on a regular basis to pursue and arrest potentially dangerous persons.”

The RCIPS said that incidents in recent months, including these latest events, indicate an increased level of threat in the vicinity of night clubs on the weekends. A firearm was recovered by police outside one night club on 7 May, and ten knives were taken off patrons of another popular night club Friday by security guards.

“Police are putting crime reduction strategies with respect to nightclubs on the weekend in order to ensure the safety of our citizens, residents and visitors to have a safe place to go out and enjoy themselves. We ask for the community’s assistance both to notify us of dangers they may see, as well as cooperate with police at the scenes of such incidents,” a spokesperson stated.

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Category: Crime, Police

Comments (83)

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  1. anonymous says:

    http://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/uknews/leytonstone-tube-stabbing-police-officers-praised-for-reaction-to-violent-knife-attack/vi-AAg5ffS?refvid=AAg4Lzu

    Police using tasers is now a relatively commonplace solution to dis-arming/taking down a criminal/suspected criminal, and if we are honest, carrying an unlicenced weapon is a criminal offence regardless of any other action that occurred that evening. He was not at sea, what would he need a flare gun for? Who carries flare guns in the back waist band of their pants for that matter?

    I have just read on another news site an editorial on this matter insisting that the police must earn respect to get respect. This from a grown woman, similar in age to myself, whom I know was raised with better values than she is currently touting! When did it all go wrong Cayman…we were never this way? Respect was given to elders and those in authority automatically! Why have we become a gangster / thug sympathizer nation? Well it won’t be me…they’ll get no sympathy from me. If disrespect is how you want to present to the world as your first ‘face’, you go right ahead. We can’t even walk in town, or drive down the road without these youngsters acting as though we must move out of the way, showing you a ”bad face’ in the process. All I can do I sigh, and lament at the decline of our civilization and be thankful that I have raised a polite, decent, respectful young adult.

  2. Whoami says:

    Clearly you people are ignorant has to how an officer gets compliance. If the officer tells the suspect not to move and couple seconds he jumps up and runs off then it means that the officer suspected that the man will not comply. Hence the reason you see the suspect ups and runs away. Common sense!

  3. Concerned citizen says:

    I say good job to the RCIPS, no serious injury or loss of life or damage to any property was caused during this entire situation.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Life is very simple and straightforward, life is about choices we make. When we choose and act we have to live with the consequences. STOP blaming others for the bad choices WE make.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Im sure there was no gun or drugs really found by police but to cover themselves they throw that statement out there to make what happened appear like they were doing something for society.

    Police need to be held accountable for their actions and stop trying cover stuff up.

    We need to keep hitting record everytime we see them using their badge as a means to assult an individual. We need to shine a light on them, dont allow them to sweep nothing under the rug.

    Either they follow the rules and sames laws we as citizens are held accountable to or sit down, cause that badge aint a free pass to bully,interfere, harass or assult a person.

  6. Smh says:

    23 yrs old, I like to go out and enjoy myself on the weekends. I do not need a gun on my waste simply because I don’t look for problems or want them nor do I want the police to find me and arrest me. It is not hard to comply by the law! These young Caymanian men need help but don’t want it! So sick and tired of seeing fights and hearing threats.

    A young Caymanian man posted a photo of a handgun (almost positive, unlicensed at that) on Instagram a few days ago and I unfollowed him immediately. Who are you trying to impress? Speak about instantly disgusted.

    I was in the parking lot at the night club when someone fired off shots last weekend. Did I find it cool, impressive, entertaining? No, I wanted to leave as soon as I heard them being fired off.

    We need all these selfish idiots off the streets!

    • East End Resident says:

      Did you report this person with the gun to the police? If you want these people and these guns off the street you need to make a stand and do more than just ‘unfriend’ them on social media. Be part of the positive change and make Cayman a better place to live again. Don’t tolerate this sort of thug behavior and the glamorizing of gun culture here.

  7. jay says:

    its amazing that the cops are doing their job, but how can you watch an individual pull out the prongs? didn’t you see his hands in motion? if this was US he’d be dead, more taser training I guess?

  8. Anonymous says:

    Reading the comments on this makes me sad. I hope most of the commentators didn’t actually see the video and didn’t actually see a man on the ground being repeatedly tasered and taunted by the police. “if you move, you going to get it again!” while he makes no attempt to take him into custody. He is just watching the suspect on the ground as he tases him, and you can almost hear the enjoyment in his voice.

    Another comment on here refers to the by-standers as “uneducated idiots” shouting a hard to understand language. Shame on you. Anyone who has lived in the Caribbean for more than a year should be able to hear and understand the cameraman saying “you are not doing the man right”. That is a clear and informed assessment of the actions in the video. Maybe he isn’t the uneducated idiot, maybe the person who wrote the comment lacks the mental capacity to learn and respect the culture. Maybe that person is unable understand when you go to different places in the world you must adjust to where you are. Where you are, doesn’t adjust to you. Just another entitled foreigner who thinks they are better than everyone.

    Another comment basically called for the police to have shot this man. Shame on you. This is cayman not the wild west or Ferguson. We don’t just kill people because they might have done something wrong. Maybe your boss should just put a bullet in your head the next time you make a mistake at work?

    Police have a tough job. But too many cowards and persons craving a chance to power trip find themselves in the police force. The job is to protect and serve the COMMUNITY, not themselves. They know the job is dangerous when they signed up. But i would rather 1 thousand police be shot by criminals than 1 Innocent person killed by a police officer because he was too scared to think clearly.

    Should they have questioned this man? Yes. Should they have detained him? Yes. Should they have tased him? Maybe but it didn’t look like they had to at that point. Should the officer have tased him repeatedly whilst taunting him? No, no, and no again.

    • Anonymous says:

      Too many people no longer show any respect to any authority and this is the consequence. If you don’t stop when police tells you to stop then you bring anything further happening upon yourself. If you don’t have anything to hide then there is no reason for you not to stop and not to cooperate with police.

      • Anonymous says:

        Thank you! its that simple, there is no need for young people to be so disgruntle the officers are only doing their job.
        remember you are innocent until proven guilty and if your guilty you are the only person you can blame.

    • Jotnar says:

      Tasers him repeatedly – you mean twice, the second time after he attempts to escape? The police are protecting the community – from young thugs running around with firearms and converted flare pistols. He hadn’t been carrying, he wouldn’t be on the wrong end of the taser. Guy was going armed, for heavens sake – you decide to carry, better be prepared to take the consequences.

      • Anonymous says:

        There is firing the pins and there is supplying the jolt. These are 2 different functions. You see him shoot him. but you hear the taser going off several times. he even says. “move and you get it again”. once the prongs are in the operator of the taser can send jolts until the juice runs out. you don’t have to fire the pins to supply the charge.

        • Anonymous says:

          Definitely need better tasers. Dude should not be jumping up after two shots. A night stick might be better.

    • Anonymous says:

      There will be a snow blizzard in Cayman before I feel sorry for the guy who goes out drinking beer with a flare gun in his pants, being disrespectful to police and trying to resist arrest

    • Anonymous says:

      You go on defending these thugs wannabe, until they rob you, shoot you or something and then you will want the police to help.

      • Anonymous says:

        I am not sure how you conclude that i am defending thugs by my comments? I am defending human beings in general. I say its debatable that he got tased. I didn’t see the lead up so maybe it was the right action. But repeated tasing with no attempt to restrain accompanied by taunts from the police is wrong. In a vacuum or in any context it was wrong. He was so unfocused on the objective of detention that he allowed the guy to pull out the pins and escape. The guy should be arrested, the camera man should have probably been arrested. But the guy shouldn’t have been taunted and tased repeatedly. Be professional, that is not behavior that a police officer should have.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well said.

  9. Anonymous says:

    The only problem I have with this situation is that the Taser voltage was somewhat lower than it could have been

  10. Anonymous says:

    time to declare war on gangster culture….
    more tasering please!!!

  11. Anonymous says:

    The taser story in this article does not match the taser video.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Well done by the police! these idiots, low-life people don’t contribute nothing to this country beside ignorance and violence. I would said he got what he deserve but I don’t think he did, I think he should have deserve more than a little taser.

  13. Nee says:

    Police can’t stop someone from videoing in public. If they are only doing their jobs then they have nothing to worry about and should surely welcome the video footage as proof they are doing what they’re meant to.

    I encourage people to video any event they see happening involving law enforcement and post it without editing. In the end if the police are found innocent and only doing their job to the best of their ability then we shall applaud them and encourage them to keep up the good work.

    • Anonymous says:

      Post it without editing – if you have footage of the entire event. There’s a lot of caveats. Because half the story is only half true.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why not encourage people to assist the police instead of threatening them?

    • Anonymous says:

      I hope people start videoing these criminals in their escapades and start putting that out too! The whole video!!

  14. Kman says:

    Good work RCIPS keep it up and get these low life punks off our streets.

  15. Anonymous says:

    it pisses me off……the police are there to keep people safe and protect innocent lives. this thug was obviously not doing as they asked. he had a “painted” flare gun in his pants ( who goes out for a beer with a flare gun?) and the officer was correct to taser him. like another comment, he would have been shot in the head by not laying with his hands behind his back. these policeman have families and lives out of the job and yet get this crap everyday for trying to protect people of this country.

  16. Anonymous says:

    I am not sure what the connection is but, Bains is gone and now the police are picking up law-breaking punks right and left

    Thank you RCIPS, keep up the good work, good leadership has its rewards.

  17. Anonymous says:

    The person is so lucky to live in Cayman, and get bailed on top of it, in any Latin Country or USA he would leave in a body bag and nobody would have to nerv to complain there after.

    • Anonymous says:

      Not in the US but he would have needed help crawling to the ambulance. We have nightsticks and you should too. Ridiculous to expose you police like that with nothing but a taser.

  18. Anonymous says:

    BLACK LIVES MATTER…..but Im not talking about that thug getting tasered, I am talking about the small businesses and residents near the area, and the kids at the school a block away. But not that thug…….

  19. Jimjim@gmail.com says:

    Uneducated idiots shouting a hard to understand language, says it all really, good luck police

  20. Anonymous says:

    This has been in the rest of the world for a long time. One of the police satirical facebook pages, cop humour, refers to these people as bafoons. They also ask people that are videoing to please use landscape and not portrait, as the wider angle is easier on the eyes. If you are going to video, it would be best to get the whole incident then you don’t look stupid. It is also appreciated that you share your name on the video for the police to follow up and interview at best as a ‘witness’. Even better is that you leave your facebook page completely open with no privacy settings so that we can all see your ramblings.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Bunch of thugs roaming the street.

  22. Anonymous says:

    That idiot should count himself very very lucky he was tasered. In many countries, US and UK included, he would simply and rightly have been shot in the head.

    • Anonymous says:

      When he was tasered his hands where up in a nonthreatening position. And he should have been shot in his head? Wow. Who ever you are, please leave this island.

  23. Miami Vice says:

    I hope a lot of these politicians see that greed and more greed not necessarily means a better country or better citizens. I believe some months ago the business community wanted supermarkets to trade on Sunday’s putting more strain on family and the day of worship. So take heed that you have the bars and clubs opening later now so all law abiding citizens and tourists alike will have no choice but stay home and stop patronizing these places as it’s just not safe anymore.

    • Anonymous says:

      Firstly, you are not forced to work on Sunday if you are going to church. What do you think the Seventh-day Adventist do on Saturday? Secondly, not everyone is religious. This is so off topic but please open shops on Sunday….. dear lord I pray.

  24. Anonymous says:

    I think the police need bigger tasers or new batteries. School’s out.

  25. Anonymous says:

    And then I just can’t get over this Jamal who is so proud of his little “viral” video and is whining about the police pointing a gun at him and telling him to “back up” (as if he was come kind of citizen journalist) – yet in his OWN POST ON FACEBOOK he admits that he and his homies were trying to prevent the police from arresting his cousin before the officer walked toward them and told them to get back.. Hmmm, let’s see… the police have their guns out and are pursuing your gangsta cousin with the flare gun he painted black (I guess he just liked that color??) and you and your gangsta friends try to prevent the police from arresting him, and then you are WONDERING why there is a cop with a gun in your face? Good God if any of these coddled morons were in the States they’d be dead a few times over. I don’t know how the police here show the restraint they do.

  26. Anonymous says:

    these little punks are so lucky to live in the Cayman Islands , so many countries taser with 9mm rounds and up , so hard to enjoy a night club anymore all these little punks do is go out and cause trouble , and when they get hurt people are playing the blame game and feeling sorry for them

  27. Caymanian Donkey says:

    To the idiot talk show host Austin who stirred up on the radio this morning with his ignorant rasist remarks get your facts right 1st… you can see from this video it has been edited, missing the beginning of the video.

    For all you ignorant people, whom I have read comments on FB about this video, the RCIPS are doing their jobs, yes if some young punks are.on the street late night carrying on. I beleive the RCIPS should be able to beat the sh.. out of them and send their a.s home.

    We have a major youth problem in Cayman these young idiot punks are going g to ruin our country.

  28. Anonymous says:

    the police are actually trying to solve this social issue that is beyond them solve – just listen to the voices in the background and it speaks for itself – keep up the good work guys, the decent citizens of this country are behind you so don’t let these little punks that raised themselves without parental guidance and has become a drain on governments resources deter you from your job. keep Cayman safe!

  29. Kingston Dun Come says:

    I have seen Jamaica. And it is we.

  30. Anonymous says:

    An easy solution would be body cameras on police officers. It’s even better evidence than their reports. But, as is often the case in the US, they seem to have a manufacturer’s defect whereby they always malfunction in contentious cases…

  31. Kenny says:

    Police are afraid of the criminals …opps that’s not true ….Police are not enforcing the laws…opps that’s not true anymore.. Now police are using too much force. Please let’s support the police. Their results this year has been outstanding.

  32. Anonymous says:

    We want police to fight crime. When they do, we criticize them for doing so. What do we want?! Do we want them to use pillows to subdue these thugs???!!!! Comply and you won’t get your ass shocked into submission.

  33. Anonymous says:

    I see resisting arrest by a drama queen, and another good citizen from the the din-do-nuffin tribe as a “innocent” bystander hoping to cash in on her act.

  34. Trial by Facebook is fun says:

    I feel for the police, having to put up with so much crap whilst doing their job.

    I have never been restrained by a cop, nor have I ever been taser’d by a cop. I think this is mainly because I don’t dick around like some wannabe gangster, showing off in front of my friends. If a police officer has cause to question me, I am also civil and don’t run away.

    • Anonymous says:

      You sound like someone who has a privileged life and has never been harassed by police. I have never been restrained or tasered either, but I have had multiple unfortunate experiences when police have overstepped their authority and treated me as though I was lesser. If you did watch the video and still think the police handled the situation correctly, you should refrain from interjecting in the future on matters.
      The police do have a difficult, and thankless at times, job to do. But that doesn’t excuse them mishandling situations or taking shortcuts. They tasered a man and still couldn’t properly detain him. How terribly inept is that? It seems as though his main focus was that he finally got to use the taser that he has been itching to use; instead on focusing on the detention of the subject.
      The police are not infallible and I thank God for the modern advances that puts video evidence in the hands of those who’s word would be discarded otherwise.

      • Anonymous says:

        They didn’t detain the man because they had to deal with the idiot with the cell phone camera refusing to comply with their requests. By his own admission on Facebook he seems to admit he was trying to prevent the arrest. He should be arrested immediately.

      • Anonymous says:

        Since you are so competent and knowledgeable about policing and police methods, please volunteer as a police officer or join the RCIPS and show how its done. As usual, armchair experts who have no clue what they are saying get to opine from the safety of their living rooms safely, because of the work that incompetent cops are doing.

      • Trial by Facebook is fun says:

        Privileged, yes, if you count privileged as being raised by good, caring parents who taught me not to act like a dick.

        I have also been stopped plenty of times by the police, but guess what, I didn’t make their life hard, cos I am not a dick.

        If you judge an entire police force by a few seconds of video with no context, you are a fool. I withhold judgement for now. If they did wrong, punish them.

        The idiots calling for heads to roll, they think Cayman is a police state, hahaha. Let them live in an actual police state for a while and they will soon come crying back to Cayman.

        • Anonymous says:

          You need no context to see that he was enjoying tasing that man instead of doing his job. “Move and you will get it again.” Come on that is clearly unprofessional and there is no context that could make it right. Taser him, restrain him and get out of the situation.
          Don’t overreact to the person with a cell phone who is documenting your behavior.

          • Peace not war says:

            I wasn’t there for the incident and yes, we all know there are corrupt officers but if there’s one thing that is obvious, the officer was clearly giving the young man a fair chance not to be tased again. “Move and you’ll get it again” that’s showing restraint. Then the boy gets up and runs away? No ! No ! Why run? Biggest mistake! I am 23 years old, love to drink and enjoy myself on the weekends (don’t need a gun on my waste) while doing so! Comply with the law and we shall all be fine. The guns, gangs and all violence needs to END!!!

          • Leanne says:

            7:38am; you are absolutely correct. Thank you for being fair and objective, there are far too many hateful comments on here and racist ones too!

      • Ken says:

        100% agree with 9:09pm. A well balanced post; not biased, just objective. Thank you!

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