Grenadian family threatens to sue Barbados Police

Grenadian family threatens to sue Barbados Police

Barbados Today:-The Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF) is facing a lawsuit by a Grenadian family who claimed to have been bullied and humiliated over a false accusation of stealing a mobile phone.

So degrading was their experience, the Gilbert family charged, that they swear never to visit Barbados again.

“We are at this stage where we would never go back to Barbados. Unless by sheer emergency or necessity, we are not going to come back,” Tamika Gilbert, one of the five-member family, told Barbados TODAY Friday evening in a telephone interview from St George’s.

“So that should tell you how bad we were feeling at the moment.”

Tamika and her sister Lynell, along with their mother, father and a cousin, none of whom want to be named, were here last October to visit the United States embassy to have their visas renewed.

Having successfully completed their business early, they decided to go to Bridgetown for some shopping and to enjoy each other’s company, since they had never travelled as an entire family before, Tamika said.

The trip became a nightmare after a store owner accused the young women of stealing her mobile phone.

Confident of their innocence, they offered to have their bags searched by the storeowner, who turned down the offer and said she would check recordings from security cameras.

Instead, “an excessive amount of police officers showed up at the scene” and during a heated exchange with the store owner, they were threatened with arrest.

They were all taken to the police station and what happened there brought her to tears, Tamika told Barbados TODAY.

She said the two sisters and their cousin were virtually stripped of their dignity by the officers, who shouted at them, insulted them, prevented them from speaking to other family members, brought them water three hours after they had made a request, and had one sister use the toilet with the door opened and an officer standing guard.

However, the most humiliating experience, she said, was when they were strip-searched.

“I went to the bathroom and she [female police officer] is at the stall with her back to the door and she said, ‘take your hair down’ cause my hair is in braids and it was in a bun, then she says, ‘take off all your clothes stoop and cough’.

“I started to cry again . . . I and all my family may be subject to a strip search. She wasn’t even satisfied with how low I stooped.”

The sisters first made the incident public on a television programme in their homeland last night.

However, Tamika told Barbados TODAY she had relived the experience many times and she now understood what it felt like to be a “victim” of the Barbados police.

“I never thought something so humiliating and degrading could have happened to my family,” she said.

Since going public, she has received countless stories of similar experiences from Grenadians and non-Grenadines alike, Tamika said.

“Every five of of six persons who messaged us say, ‘I too had a similar bad Barbados experience’. It gets me angry that so many people would have gone through that and they didn’t say anything.

“They [the police] behave like they don’t want us to come, like we are not tourists. The police station that we went to, I was trying real hard to find an officer who was nice that day. And if that is how they are treating us as visitors – and they knew we are not from Barbados – that’s not good for the country at all,” she said, adding: “We have never taken a family trip when all four of us went out together, so Barbados will be a memorable experience for our family.”

Tamika explained that the reason it took them some three months to tell their story was because they had been trying to find a lawyer here to take their case.

Frustrated at the pace at which the process was moving, they turned to noted Grenadian attorney Ruggles Ferguson, who told Barbados TODAY the family would seek redress in the courts.

“Legal action is being pursued. There’s a team of Caribbean lawyers involved in this matter, we are discussing it and we will determine how to proceed,” Ferguson said via telephone.

The attorney was highly critical of the police here, saying they had acted illegally, and called for “these unlawful practices to stop”.

He also was complimentary of the sisters for making their experience public, contending they were doing so on behalf of those who had gone through similar experiences but were “too embarrassed to relate what happened to them”.

Tamika said a senior officer later apologized, stating “a lot of things that happen today would have been excessive and should not have happened”.

She added that the exclamation mark came when she was asked to amend her written statement, deleting her claim that they were subjected “to an embarrassing body search”.

Their attorney told Barbados TODAY this was unpardonable.

“They have gone through six hours in the station, forced to change their statement in the case of Tamika so they can leave the station . . . so there are deeper issues in this matter –– starting with treating people with respect,” Ferguson said.

“Therefore, it must not happen to another person.”

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25 Comments

  1. Pankaiso
    January 14, 2017 at 2:48 pm Reply

    My dear Grenadian friends I bear the pain of your humiliation and suffering at the hands of Queens guards that’s how they and it’s the teaching of there sovereign masters it’s all in the plan do you think if it was That Bandit Harry or his brother or grand mother and any of his Jamet’s they get such royal treatment instead they may have even offered them the entire store , my dear family it won’t stop but to show your strength come together and file that law suite speak little be strong and don’t be like some of those lick bottom Africans be that worrier that you a you got my support and so of the many silent worriers
    One love to you and the family I will be following up the progress

    1. nanci
      January 16, 2017 at 12:28 pm Reply

      the picture couldve been taken before this incident, thats why they are smiling, because they got the visas they came for, and was very happy. Hotel fees, food and travel expenses not spent in vain, while applying for the visas

  2. Anonymous
    January 14, 2017 at 2:52 pm Reply

    Worst country for Caribbean people to visit.the people are terrible.

    1. Anonymous
      January 15, 2017 at 2:11 pm Reply

      Would never visit there again

  3. Febert
    January 14, 2017 at 3:01 pm Reply

    This country is a dumpster of morality and grace. It’s a very unfriendly place.

    1. Vex
      January 14, 2017 at 7:05 pm Reply

      I have a relative studying at Cave Hill Campus. She stated categorically that Barbadians are the crudest and most unfriendly people she knows. She said that she cannot leave her residence without being propositioned by every male she encounters. They would never treat white Canadians, Americans or British tourists the way they harass us from neighboring Caribbean territories. I hope the family pursues this case to the very end and would be handsomely rewarded when they win. This ugly and inhumane treatment MUST STOP.

      1. Anonymous
        January 14, 2017 at 8:39 pm Reply

        Tell me about it. I went to Barbados 2 years ago and the way the men were acting when they saw me, I had to wonder if they ever saw woman before?
        It reach a point where I would eat all my meals in my hotel room. SMH

  4. Anonymous
    January 14, 2017 at 3:07 pm Reply

    Worst place in the Caribbean to visit. The people are terrible. I wonder why tourist still visit there.

    1. Anonymous
      January 14, 2017 at 5:55 pm Reply

      Because the kiss white people (Words deleted). It happens all throughout the Caribbean. Only two months ago I had an experience at a St. Kitts hotel. A security guard followed me since I was the only black person on the property. Thankfully, she wasn’t rude but when I asked her is it impossible for a black person to be able to afford a stay at a hotel she behaved herself.

    2. Shame of our cops
      January 15, 2017 at 4:27 pm Reply

      Okay I admit the officers were wrong very wrong too but because of they action doesn’t mean all Bajans are like the bad and corrupt cops that are in our force but things happen in every Caribbean country so if you want to blame the whole island for something that we (the whole island) wasn’t aware of well it shows how dumb you are but I hope the officers who were involved get what’s due to them and I do apologize to the family and do hope that this won’t stop them from visiting again but I do understand the way they would feel as I would if it was me or any female in my family ….

  5. Anonymous
    January 14, 2017 at 3:18 pm Reply

    we should rally to relocate the embassy to St.Lucia Grenada St.Vincent.

    1. Anonymous
      January 14, 2017 at 6:07 pm Reply

      That would be better ,yes found Barbadians very unpleasant to other Caribbean visitors.But they love the white people.What a shame in this day and age!

  6. 666
    January 14, 2017 at 3:24 pm Reply

    What does the OECS Commission has to say?

    1. Anonymous
      January 15, 2017 at 12:32 am Reply

      Barbados isn’t part of the OECS. What can the Commission do about it?

      1. 666
        January 15, 2017 at 2:13 am Reply

        The Commission represents OECS citizens!

  7. Deanna Salisbury
    January 15, 2017 at 1:54 am Reply

    I would love to visit Barbados but if it’s like that, I don’t a vacation there. I do chat with a friend guy there, and he seen to be nice. Im from the USA. I will try to learn more about that place. I read about an incident before about Barbados

  8. Sad-But-True
    January 15, 2017 at 2:14 am Reply

    Barbadians are well-known to be co.ons, uncle toms, and self – haters all while missing white peoples ana.l cavity as they use the toil-ets. Thank God, I never had to go to this island on any business.

  9. Sad-But-True
    January 15, 2017 at 2:15 am Reply

    Kissing

  10. Clemkonan
    January 15, 2017 at 3:33 pm Reply

    I am very sorry to hear of your experience and I wish I could brush it off as an isolated incident but I know it is not. We seem to have lost our way.Bajans most certainly do not greet or treat their neighbours with love.

    I used to travel in the USA as an auditor and one of the things I experienced and loved in the Atlanta, Chicago, Cincinnati and Dallas area was the love. It could be a flight attendant, a baggage handler, a taxi driver or another traveller there was this instant recognition of family and a subliminal outflowing of gestures of love. Even something as simple as a glance was felt as ” Hello bro are you ok is everything good?” My fear is that when our crisis comes and it will our neighbours may not be there for us, let’s hope we see the error of our ways and start teaching the children differently.

  11. Caribbean guy
    January 16, 2017 at 11:11 am Reply

    This is so outrageous! The government should fire the police officers who were involved in the incident that day to send the message that this is unacceptable! Until this is resolved appropriately, I’ll never visit or encourage my associates in the US to visit Barbados again. SHAME ON YOU, BAJAN OFFICERS!! You will get what you deserve!

  12. nanci
    January 16, 2017 at 12:17 pm Reply

    the police should have called the phone, or ask someone to track it, but some of them just hateful, and love to humiliate people. The first thing they do is make you strip, not that it ever happen to me, but its been happening to regular to carribbean visitors. Low self esteem police with no common sense

  13. nanci
    January 16, 2017 at 12:22 pm Reply

    some bajans are too judgemental thats why these bad things happen. I came in on a flight, the customs guy ask me to open my suitcase, as i was closing it back, it was giving trouble because i over packed it. Some woman told her friend, and i quote. They travel to the US and want to bring back everything their eyes see. Mind you, I am an american citizen, and travel back for vacation. Some people need to stop judging and learn to mind their own business.

  14. reco
    January 17, 2017 at 5:51 am Reply

    YOU SEE WHEN A COUNTRY LIKE BARBADOS HAVE AH LAWLESS, INEPT, DISRESPECTFUL GOVERNMENT TO ITS PEOPLE LIVING HERE, ITS NO WONDER THAT THINGS LIKE THESE ARE HAPPENING AT AN ALARMING RATE. NOW WHEN ALL IS CHECK OUT AND THE OFFICERS IN THE WRONG AS IT APPEAR TO BE, I HOPE THE GILBERT FAMILIES WILL MAKE THIS (Words deleted) GOVERNMENT PAY AND I MEAN PAY……AS FOR THE OFFICERS, KICK THEY (Word deleted) OFF THE FORCE THIS (Word deleted) HAS TO STOP. I DON’T KNOW THE GILBERTS, BUT THEY LOOK VERY HUMBLE AN VERY RESPECTABLE

  15. zola
    January 17, 2017 at 3:37 pm Reply

    Its sad that women of the Caribbean and that includes BARBADOS should have to relived the pain and intimidation of the ancestors through our men. A total apartheid system is in full operation on the Island of Barbados. Including Black people oppressing black people for the benefit of the slave master. and for that reason BARBADOS should be boycotted just like South Africa. NO rum/ No Pinehill juice/ no milk/ no sodabix/ nothing from BARBADOS.

  16. Anonymous
    March 3, 2017 at 7:00 pm Reply

    I HAVE HEARD OF THE INHUMANE TREATMENT OF PEOPLE FROM OTHER CARRIBBEAN COUNTRIES ME I AM A GUYANESE WE ARE TREATED THE WORSE IN EVERY COUNTRY THEY ARE OTHER NATIONS BEHAVE THE SAME WAY OR COMMIT THE SAME CRIME BUT THEY ARE TREATED DIFFERENTY . I HAVE NEVER BEEN TO BARBADOS EXCEPT FOR BEING INTRANSIT I WILL NEVER PUT MY FEET IN BARBADOS I DONT CARE WHAT MEDICAL FACILITES YOU HAVE I RATHER DIE.

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