The coroner’s inquest into the death of Oscar Bartholomew — a Grenadian Canadian who lost his life on Christmas day in 2011 due to an alleged police brutality — was postponed for a second time on Monday, and the new starting date is 26 August 2013.
Though police officers were jointly charged with manslaughter for the incident, a judge in late 2012 ordered the charges be dropped and an inquest be held to determine who is culpable for the causing the death of the Bartholomew.
The first inquest date was in February, but it was postponed to May, and when it opened on Monday the Coroner failed to get started due to absence of lawyers and the need to replace two jurors.
“The lawyers are unavoidably absent,” said Dr Francis Alexis, who said that lawyers in the matter were overseas.
Dr Alexis explained that one of the lawyers also had to be replaced as he was no longer in a position to represent the client. “Mr Cajeton Hood who represented one of the officers is now the Attorney–General and he cannot represent the officer in the matter anymore. Another lawyer was appointed, but he too is absent.”
There is also the need to replace two jurors as they had to be excused from the matter due to familiarity with the persons involved.
Bartholomew and his Canadian wife Dolette were on an island tour, when they stopped at the St David Police Station to use the rest room. It is reported that Bartholomew mistook a female plain officer for a lost friend and gave her a hug. Thinking she was in danger, she cried out and male officers responded which resulted in Bartholomew being beaten by the officers. A pathologist report said he died from blunt force trauma and internal bleeding.