Cops guilty in Taser assault case

| 29/11/2016 | 62 Comments

(CNS): Two police officers charged with common assault after they shot a suspect with a Taser gun at least twice after a car chase more than two years ago have been found guilty. Cardiff Robinson (31) and Austin Etienne (45) were convicted of the offence by Magistrate Philippa McFarlane following a Summary Court trial in September. The crown’s case against the officers was that they had used excessive force when they arrested Lawson Scott in East End after a police pursuit across Grand Cayman in May 2014.

McFarlane delivered her decision in the case on Tuesday, and the two men were bailed to re-appear for sentencing in the New Year. CNS has contacted the RCIPS about the men’s future police careers, as they are both likely to lose their jobs, and we are awaiting a response.

After the two officers were charged they were not placed on required leave, as is customary across the rest of the civil service, but were placed on desk duties, officials with the police previously stated.

Robinson and Etienne had both denied using unnecessary force and claimed that they were in fear of Scott because he had a machete in the car and was resisting arrest.

But during the trial the magistrate viewed the taser-cam footage and video from the police helicopter, which showed a chaotic scene. On the taser-cam the officers shot Scott with the stun-gun immediately after the car stopped in a dead-end street off John McLean Drive.

They were clearly heard encouraging each other to “burn him again”, referring to the Taser and Scott, who did not appear to be resisting arrest. Scott was seen to be dragged from the car writhing from the 50,000 volts going through his body, with the Taser burr still attached, while four body-armoured officers surrounded him as he was tasered again.

The court also heard evidence from other police officers, including training officers, who described the proper and appropriate use of Tasers and said that the officers in this case did not follow protocol. They said that a Taser should not be used to make suspects comply with instructions and that officers at the scene that night should have tried to defuse and de-escalate the situation.

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Category: Crime, Police

Comments (62)

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  1. Ex-Patriot?? says:

    As long as there are foreigners working in Cayman there will be anti-expat and anti-Caymanian views. I say send all the foreigners home on December 31, 2016 and let Caymanians manage Cayman and their own Caymanians.
    Check back CNS in 5 yrs to see the progress….I have an open mind.

  2. ticktock says:

    No “Caymanian” police!! sad Cayman sad! Nuff said!!

  3. SSM345 says:

    I am now convinced that the reason why we have a motorbike problem on our roads is because these 2 have been on desk duty.

  4. Looney Looney says:

    Hey, at least they were kept on desk duty to earn their pay.

    They must have had some increadible skill that the service couldnt do without. Not like maintaining over 5 millions dollars worth of rescue equipment.

    Assault = Desk duty

    Driving without insurance = Paid Suspension 4+ yrs

    Hang tight my friend, they know they cant win, thats why its 4+ yrs and still counting.

    Go figure. Backwards man, Backwards.

  5. MM says:

    It is the police “service” here in Cayman, not the police “force”.

    They are not allowed to use force on criminals, they must do it with courtesy and Ritz Carlton style “service”.

    Dragging this suspected criminal out of the car was inappropriate, they should have gently opened his door, held out their hand and glided him out gently with their white gloves on. Geesh.

    • Anonymous says:

      You are right on all counts except the white gloves and the stupid Geesh.

      • Anonymous says:

        Would you have preferred me to say “latex gloves” or “rubber gloves”?

        • Anonymous says:

          Geesh…don’t you understand being a fleeing criminal is not contagious.

          • Anonymous says:

            Wrong. If you fail to apply the cure you will find they are very contagious.

            • Anonymous says:

              White gloves are not the cure my friend. And the magistrate says the cops were not applying the cure either. And I absolutely agree with her.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I’d prefer they received a medal

  7. Anonymous says:

    This is called the ‘red mist’ syndrome and the root cause is more often than not bad training and poor supervision. Guilty they may be but I’ve an uneasy feeling they’ve also been used as scapegoats for a generally dysfunctional police force.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Ridiculous!
    Crime is up, daylight gang shootings in front of tourists, drugs floating onto the island by the tons, the school systems are crumbling, and our rich reef is destroyed directly or indirectly on a weekly basis, but yet our justice system is spending time & money to find these two guilty of upholding the law against a scum bag criminal.
    Good Luck Cayman.
    Your going to need it as you become a small, USA-minded extreme liberal island when it comes to policing.
    I’m very sorry for these two policeman.
    XXXXX: when someone commits a crime, they refuse to stop and run, and drives at a high speed while not stopping, the situation has escalated. They didn’t kill him, he’s not injured for life…could you imagine if he hit someone on the side of the road while driving irradically across the island, like hitting and killing an innocent mother holding her baby. That Taser wouldn’t sound that bad, would it. God bless the people of Cayman.

    • Uncle John says:

      You know something shit head when the shoes are not on your feet you can say what you want to say, these are the criminals that we are placing in the police force to uphold the laws of these islands but they came here with their own agenda and dirty behavior and it seems like you are one of those no good for nothing person that needs to be sent back where you come from, and if you were following the court case you would have understand what really happened so please shout your mouth if you don’t know what happened. Thank you

    • Anonymous says:

      Doesn’t matter how nasty it is on the streets, police officers have standards to adhere to when it comes to the use of force to apprehend criminals. The immediate use of the tasar was wholly inappropriate and unjustified; as testified to by their colleagues. Police cannot keep the peace by acting like yobs – period.

    • Anonymous says:

      Firstly, The article clearly stated that the individual did not appear to be resisting arrest, which is based on footage from both the Taser and Helicopter cameras. So pleaseee tell me how were they right? Yes, he refused to stop when signaled but he was no immediate threat, if he was speeding excessively etc, I’m sure it would have been stated because RCIPS can’t always take the full blame right. It wasn’t like he got out of the car brandishing a handgun or attacking the officers. It also clearly states that the officer tased this individual immediately as the vehicle stopped, not giving this person a chance to speak so yes, excessive force was present.

      Secondly, who are you to call someone a scumbag when you have no idea wth really happened from start to finish. You probably only know what the article said plus what you “assumed” happened and from the way you type, you seem to be a very illiterate incompetent ignorant imbecilic scumbag yourself! Maybe you need to be tasered in your ass so you can get your head out ?

  9. Raffaelle says:

    You are right but they are use to shooting people back home we should feel lucky. A very recent Human rights report on Jamaica has pointed this out. Thats exactly why our colonial power has encourage and allowed their employment just in case the natives get out of hand. We have the ability to apply the necessary deadly force to deal with any situation or confrontation in the OT. The problems they bring of corruption misuse or abuse of power favouritism towards their own nationals or unprofessional conduct or misconduct is overlooked when it comes to protecting colonial citizens and their elitest loyal friends who reside in this territory. Get over it Cayman they come first.

    • Anonymous says:

      Someone got shot two days ago…

    • Anonymous says:

      Agree that the colonial powers allowed the hiring of Jamaicans to get out of control and you may be on to something re protecting elitist…. like the ‘white’ Jamaicans who use their accent to keep them under control and away from them and their English friends, good point, so UK must get rid of Jcan officers and their white elitist Jacans who influence too much here

  10. Cayman Purge says:

    Protectors don’t make me laugh broad daylight shootings robberies murders more drug shipments and guns than Quakers have Oats. Its time for a purge of our little islands and Police service which has way too many foreign nationals amongst it ranks. Its time we put a stop to the UK little game because our puppets in power aint going to do it.

  11. Donnie says:

    CNS, what is you infatuation with the comment “burn him again”? You reported it in September when the hearing of the matter concluded and you have reported it again. The Magistrate said clearly yesterday that it was not logical that either of these officers who had the Tasers in their possession would be the persons saying it, she was not assuming that they had said it and hence was not factoring it into her decision.
    What you couldn’t bring yourself to report in September, or today, was that the alleged victim was told several times “Get out the car”, “Out the car”, … before he was first Tasered. Nor could you report then or now that he was also told several times while on the ground with one hand under him “Free up your hand”, Free up your hand”, . . Why could you not report this?
    I attended 95% of the hearing of this matter and I’m glad that I did. I know that if you watched the evidence that I watched in court, you could not have heard “burn him again” and not heard the two sets of repeated commands when the video of the whole incident was only a couple minutes.
    I’m very disappointed in you CNS.

    • Anonymous says:

      You seem to have missed the part where the magistrate found them guilty of using excessive force. That must have been in the 5% of the hearing that you missed. Wood. Trees.

      • Shane says:

        To the “Anonymous” reply at 10.09am, did he say that they weren’t guilty? Did he defend them in any way? His issue is with CNS. Don’t be an ignorant comment back just to have something to say. Maybe you should have attended and obtained all the facts. CNS choses what they cover and post, and its extremely evident that they are leaving a lot of things out. The ruling and verdict is the ruling and verdict. No one is arguing that. You speak about what the person posting must have missed, you too seemed to have missed his point.

    • LOL says:

      CNS is getting coal for Christmas…

  12. Patna's failed dream says:

    Its time for our swamp to be drain and this colonial experiment And I quote “here to reflect the diversity of community” Absolute rubbish Baines gone they have to go too. In fact those responsible who now sit in other law enforcement branches need to be fired for carrying out this terrible failure and policy. They have this police force and this entire island in a real mess crime is rampant and the lack of confidence and respect for law enforcement is at the highest its ever been..

  13. Anonymous says:

    unprofessional jamacian police that think they better than everyone cuz they get a little power being a police officer many more yardie cops need to go too

  14. Anonymous says:

    let them go…they are our protectors…this is foolish

    • Anonymous says:

      Until they Taser you!

      • Anonymous says:

        they won’t because i’m not a criminal….
        same reason I will never get shot by a cop in the states…..

        • Just saying says:

          3:58pm, you never got shot in the states maybe because you are caucasian and if you are black or latino, be very careful your life is worth dust….8:25am hats off to you.

          • Say wha? says:

            You get shot in the States because you act like a thug, because you refuse to follow orders, and because you deserve it – not because you’re black. Just saying.

            • annonymous says:

              You are such an idiot… we all know that while many blacks latinos and minorities in general are criminals like some whites…that many people get targeted in the US because of race…and being a minority…..Its clear to see daily in the media.

              At least be fair…like it or not…

  15. Rolling says:

    Sad day indeed. Criminals should not have equal right to law abiding citizens.

    • LOL says:

      Everyone should have equal rights, the view that they shouldnt is what mashed up ya island bloodz

  16. jay says:

    They think this is “down a yad” awa?

  17. Anonymous says:

    You cant have it both ways people. You cant coddle your criminals and expect things to get better. Some of the commentators on this site are idiots who have never had to deal with epic trash that will do anything to get away with crime. They should have shocked 3 times for good measure because you know the criminals is only going to have a good laugh over the whole matter and not take anything seriously.

    • Anonymous says:

      Lock this idiot up too, magistrate.

    • Allar says:

      I beg to differ, no Police officer should have the rights to breakntheblawvand not follow procedure. So are you saying that it is ok just to tase someone for kicks, do you understand that thebperson in this case could have been you or a family member. Further more is it oknto shoot someone who is not resisting at the time. If anyonenis an idiot it is you, try thinking before youbengage your mouth.

      • Inspector Gadget says:

        Yes, it is perfectly acceptable to tase criminals for kicks.

        • Anonymous says:

          The perp enjoys being chased “for kicks” , and you enjoy supporting trash “for kicks” . I bet it gives you a little high to pretend you are a bad-boy by supporting that trash.

      • Anonymous says:

        I would say being chased by cops is refusing to be arrested, and if you have ever been in that situation, you would know that the perp is putting civilians and the police lives in danger at that point which justifies the cops actions….idiot.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Thank you, Magistrate Philippa McFarlane. These predjudiced, egotistical cowards we call police officers should also be charged for endangering public safety by chasing this man quote “across Grand Cayman”. There is no need for this kind of idiocy in this country under any circumstances.

  19. Anonymous says:

    These two officers obviously doesn’t realize that they are not apart of a police force(not the JCF or the Barbados police force) but they are apart of the Royal Cayman island police service. what they had done is inhumane and deserve whatever the judge will hand down to them.

    • Rolling says:

      Oh my god. Please go im the corner with that cry me a river crap.

      We are talking about people who put their selves in dangers way to protect you and Caymans social interest. I fully support officers roughing up these thugs.

      You all wont care untill you come home to an empty home or you or someone you care for god forbid is ever a victim .

      Sissy times we living in . I suppose using the word sissy has also hurt your feelings

      • McCarron McLaughlin says:

        It should have been your child or mother that got taser unnecessary, would like to hear what you would say about that.

        Lawson is my cousin, he never had any trouble with the law or people.

        He definitely ain’t no thug, he just made a bad decision when running from the cops. Everyone make mistakes, cut the guy some slack “Incognito”.

        • Rolling says:

          Oh he mad a mistake . Well isnt that convenient .

          A mistake that put lives at risk. Btw you dont just run from the cops as a law abiding citizen.

          And if an incident had happened including my interest i would have the fair judgment to blame the root of the problem.

    • Anonymous says:

      What pathetic comment! Yes, they a part of a police force on an island where crime is out of control and only getting worse. I bet they feel so Royal being part of this losing battle.
      Inhumane??? Please do us a favor and stay off the police department or any type of security service. We deserve officers who have guts and grit!

  20. Anonymous says:

    Hard to see what the point of this is. I do not think the police should have to be ake any risk that can be avoided.

    • Anonymous says:

      If they don’t want a job that exposes them to risk, they shouldn’t have chosen the police force as a profession.

      • Anonymous says:

        You are willfully ignoring the point. If another taser shot makes them safer, then have at it.

  21. Anonymous says:

    another step back for cayman justice….
    this scumbag deserves more than tasering…imagine if he ran over your child while trying to outrun the police……

    • Anonymous says:

      Then the police should be charged for child murder for chasing him.

      • Anonymous says:

        Charged for murder……are you mad…..for someone else’s actions!
        So if I deal drugs, burgle a house or shoot someone I can get in a car, drive off at speed and the cops should let me drive off, discard all the evidence and commit further offences. So I only get arrested if I’m strolling round the supermarket. As long as I leave no forensic evidence at the scene and no one can ID me at the scene then I’m never going to get caught am I?…..and Cayman doesn’t exactly have a reputation for its civil minded citizens identifying criminals and giving evidence against them in court!

        • Anonymous says:

          I’m not mad but it seems you are missing a very good chance at it. Tell me, who would the guy be running from if the police refused to chase him? Take his vehicle registration number and deal with the matter like people with brains in their heads. No crime this guy could possibly have committed is worth risking innocent people’s lives for. The police might be very sadly mistalken that their driving skills are above putting other people’s lives at risk but they most certainly CANNOT guarantee that the person they are chasing is so skilled a driver. Get your brain in gear my friend. If you’re not mad, that is.

    • Unison says:

      I am a bit dissappointed in the judgement. :/

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