Cops Accused in San Pedro Shooting Arraigned
Two cops were arraigned today at the San Pedro Magistrate court. The two were captured on video manhandling a woman and then firing indiscriminately on Barrier Reef Drive where a crowd had gathered after four o’clock on Saturday morning. Five persons were injured in the mayhem. The wild shooting by the cops has sparked outrage across the island and other sectors. News Five’s Duane Moody was back in the island this morning for the arraignments.
Twenty-seven-year-old Norman Coye and twenty-two-year-old Darnell Madrill are on interdiction after they were arraigned in the San Pedro Magistrate’s Court this morning for wounding up to five persons in a shooting incident on Saturday morning outside a nightclub on the island. The duo—officers attached to the Quick Response Team of the San Pedro Police Department—was on-duty along with several other officers when they responded to a fight between two women near the Central Park. At the scene they pulled out their licensed service weapons and fired up to fourteen shots, as heard in amateur video that captured the melee. Five persons including three Cowo siblings, a female and Enfield Henry Garcia were hit with bullet fragments after PC Coye fired shots to the concrete pavement, dangerously close to people’s feet.
ACP Keith Lino, Commander, Professional Standards Branch [File: April 3rd, 2017]
“The police reported to us that they were being attacked and having been attacked they used their service revolver to try and put control under the situation that was out there. In that incident we had five persons who got injured, that we found out, the investigation found out. Of the five, we have three brothers who were Cowo. We have Alfredo Cowo; we have Jose and George Cowo. I have a fellow Mr. Enfield who is currently at the hospital. He got injuries to his left eye.”
The footage not only shows the abuse of power, but police brutality as one of the women involved in the brawl was beaten and kicked, while in handcuffs, on the ground. Residents on the island told News Five that incidents of cruelty, committed at the hands of the police, are frequent. San Juan resident Laura Trapp alleges that her son has also been a victim for some time now.
Laura Trapp, Alleges Police Brutality
“When my son go out dah town, that police stay harass my son. I noh know weh he got against my son. But every time ih see my son, my son can’t have wah lee fun because that police deh always harass ahn. This last time; he done got two charge with that police. The first time was at the same spot and now again. That police deh harass my son and gone by the police station gone dodge my son. When my son pass with the golf cart, dehn shot after my son. I noh know fi weh reason, why he have to do that. Suppose ih mi kill my son. I know that that police love to do dehn things and he is a chancey police; chancey, chancey and I noh like weh he do.”
But there is a flipside to the incident because the officers maintain that they were defending themselves from a group of angry partygoers. While San Pedro is known for its nightlife, there must be law and order. Mayor Daniel Guerrero acknowledges that since 2014, there has been a steep reduction in criminal activity on the island as a result of the QRT, which the officers were a part of.
Daniel Guerrero, Mayor, San Pedro Town
“The police needs to continue doing its job within the law—not to go over—and somebody has to put law and order so that has to happen. Nobody will have nothing against police if you behave good. If you behave bad, you will have something against the police. So I think the police have to do the work; they are the ones to keep the law and order and that will never go away; that will always be there. I can tell you that from now on, we have to be working even closer with the OC. I have a very good relationship with the OC, Mister Henry Jemmott. He is doing an excellent job when it comes to San Pedro. If you look at statistics; San Pedro’s crime has decreased and is on the decrease.”
Duane Moody for News Five.
The officers were given bail of one thousand dollars plus two sureties of five hundred dollars each. They are to return to court on May thirty-first.
This evening, the United Women’s Group, the women’s arm of the People’s United Party condemned the behavior of the cops involved in the shooting. It says the excessive violence captured on amateur video, clearly showed a woman, who was already subdued, being subjected to excessive and unnecessary force by police officers. In addition, excessive force was also displayed by those same officers when they discharged their weapons in a crowded area injuring innocent bystanders. In expressing dissatisfaction with the events that led up to and the subsequent response by the Police Department, UWG President Tanya Santos says “This is utterly disgraceful behavior and response on the part of our police officers who are sworn to protect. No person, man or woman, deserves such barbaric treatment.” The UWG also calls on the Government to compensate those affected.