Taser cops back on active duty

| 10/03/2017 | 23 Comments

(CNS): Two police constables who were on desk duty until their trial and then suspended after they were found guilty of using excessive force during an arrest and tasering a suspect twice have been placed back on active duty, officials from the RCIPS confirmed Friday. Although Austin Etienne and Cardiff Robinson were both found guilty by Magistrate Phillipa McFarlane of the charges, yesterday, following a sentencing hearing, she recorded no conviction or sanction against the cops, ordering them to pay just $400 each for court costs for the trial, so that the men would not lose their jobs

In a short statement the RCIPS said, “Yesterday, 9 March, the court determined that the recent convictions of police constables Austin Etienne and Cardiff Robinson would not result in any custodial sentence, and further, that the convictions themselves would not be recorded. Therefore, the suspensions of both constables that arose from those convictions have been rescinded, and they will be returned to active duty.”

There was no indication about whether the two officers would face any internal discipline, as video footage from the Taser-cam and the helicopter on the night of the assault, which was played during the trial, showed a chaotic scene in which the officers appeared to encourage the excessive use of the weapon on Lawson Scott as he was arrested in East End.

The words “burn him again” were clearly audible on the footage, even though Scott was not resisting arrest. He 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 when he was tasered again.

During her ruling Thursday, the magistrate said she found some of the things said to Scott on the night of the arrest as “most distasteful” but she determined that the officers’ behaviour was a one-off incident and made the decision that despite convicting them on the evidence, she would not record that conviction or impose any kind of sentence or fine.

Robinson is currently also involved in a civil dispute with a senior officer in the RCIPS. Robinson has claimed that he was subject to bullying and abuse at the hands of Chief Inspector Frank Owens and that he physically assaulted him on two occasions. When the DPP refused to prosecute his case, despite finding there were grounds for an assault, he filed a civil action. The case was adjourned last August to allow for further witnesses to appear but it has not been listed since.

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Category: Courts, Crime, Police

Comments (23)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    People should get their fact cleared these cops are not Jamaicans.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Why are Jamaican police here anyway? Surely their own country needs them more.

  3. Anonymous says:

    The truth is that some Caymanians are too cowardly or poorly educated to join the RCIPS, and they certainly abused the well trained and highly experienced UK, US and Canadian cops that once were common on our streets, forcing them out. The Joint Marine Unit is run like a mini-Mafia of Caymanians and look how that’s working out for you. Hopefully the CoP will break that hopeless gang up before they destroy more valuable boats and engines.
    The last recruitment campaign resulted in perhaps two Caymanians, so if you don’t like Jamaican police on your streets, grow a pair, get educated and join up. There are certainly some very fine Caymanian officers out there and they should be applauded for their tenacity and courage for protecting their own country from criminals both foreign and domestic. These guys should be identified by independent experts and held up as society role models, because believe me, you are in serious need of some.

    You chose the cheap option by default, now you pay the price for your own complacency.

    • Anonymous says:

      Given the level on which some those Jamaican cops read at…..your argument on educational level is weak.

      But I do agree, the education level of our cops should be high. And if not Caymanians, they should be from the U.K.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Wow. Not one comment about the use of excessive force by the RCIP?

    So now the courts are condoning police brutality? A isolated incident….I think not. Not one of our Magistrates/Judges have the balls to impose adequate sentences on perpetrators of violent behavior.

  5. Rick says:

    What is said at the incident is only relevant if it resulted in illegal actions. The fact is that the man was not compliant, it was dark and the safety of officers were at stake. It is interesting the facts that this blog chooses to highlight and those it chooses to ignore.

  6. Catcha Fire says:

    Pc Rabe Welcome a Caymanian Police officer was charged and convicted and sent to prison for breaking the arm of a male suspect. However on appeal he was freed and was not allowed to return to the RCIPS after a settlement was reached. Yet we have had Jamaican officers here suspected of murder being defended by the previous commissioner of police. Now we have serving Jamaican police officers who use a police issued piece of equipment in and offensive manner and with excessive force with intent ” Burn him” to cause injury to an already subdued suspect. Which turn the police equipment in to an offensive weapon at that point. Are now yet again being given the benefit of the doubt and no conviction recorded. wow! Could somebody please tell explain how is that fair to Pc Welcome or the suspect. We are seeing today in Cayman what happens when we allow foreign influence and individuals to take senior and powerful post to control and manage certain branches of our government that they will do exactly what they have long use to justify and accuse our own people of doing. Favoritism, nepotism and discrimination and even corruption in some instances. Its time to drain the swamp Cayman and it is far too many foreign nationals here now trying to destabilize our little democracy and islands.

    • Anonymous says:

      @Catcha Fire, don’t you know that our RCIPS is controlled by Jamaicans?

      Why do you think many MLAs are scared to do anything and distract people by blaming the British for everything instead of cleaning up mess within?

      Until we get MLAs willing to see that a strong alliance with British is best way forward for peace and stability and a way to make ALL Jamaicans remember this is Cayman we’re all going to suffer. They can’t help themselves, that culture has been destroyed by corruption and not by the British and we are willing to watch the importation of that?

    • Observer says:

      So why aren’t you a police officer ??? If there were enough Caymanians that were willing to put their personal safety and wellbeing at risk on a daily basis, you wouldn’t have to make your racist, profiled remarks, GENIUS!

      • Anonymous says:

        Love your comment! Caymanians are constantly bashing expats for taking jobs etc but how many Caymanians are qualified to be Accountants, Doctors or Teachers? Get qualified! How many Caymanians want to pick up garbage or clean peoples homes? How many Caymanians are willing to do hard labor jobs like construction, yard maintenance etc. Shut up and realize these are the very reasons we have more expats here than we have Caymanians. I am Caymanian, I did well in school, went to University and I have my degree with a good paying job. I chose to better myself rather than lay blame on persons from other nations for why we don’t excel in our country.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Excellent decision by the new CoP.
    Clearly CNS missed the fact that there were FIVE (5) incidents of resisting arrest and assault on police officers in 2 months starting on the day the announcement (10 Dec 2016)of the suspension of these two officers and another officer when a senior officer had his teeth knocked out by some fop.
    We all want police officers to protect us but who volunteers to join the Special Constables and be on the street all hours of the night standing shoulder to shoulder with them and dealing with those who have no respect for the law or anyone. Clearly not the staff of CNS!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Those 2 need to be sent back to Jamaia. We don’t need no more criminals in the RCIP.

  9. Anonymous says:

    As excellent decision. Exactly what was the commissioner supposed to do? No conviction was recorded.

    We need all officers on duty now.

  10. Don Jose says:

    Caymanian police officers would have been summarily dismissed convicted or not. this place is truly lost and its clearly time to send these Jamaicans back to their country this getting ridiculous now.

    • Anonymous says:

      7:16, agreed , send them home. to Ja.

    • Anonymous says:

      Please. Give it up. Caymanians would be the LAST to get fired after everyone else. Same is true all over government. At least with ex pats you can dump them at the end of their contracts with no bother if they are dead weight. But Caymanians are around to stay whether they work or do not work. Everyone knows it so stop the faux outrage. It’s boring.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why would you send THEM back to Jamaica?
      Did THEY come from Jamaica?

  11. Anonymous says:

    Austin Harris is back on duty too. Not sure the point of the story.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah, and Kenneth Bryan is running for office. With billboards all over George Town. I didn’t hear either him or Austin complain about a Jamaican judge in those proceedings…

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