Grenada police officers charged in beating death of Canadian man

Three more Grenada police officers were charged with manslaughter on Sunday in the beating death of a Canadian as the country’s prime minister insisted the case isn’t indicative of the Caribbean island’s law enforcement.

ST. GEORGE’S, Grenada — Three more Grenada police officers were charged with manslaughter on Sunday in the beating death of a Canadian as the country’s prime minister insisted the case isn’t indicative of the Caribbean island’s law enforcement.

“This is really an isolated case, it’s unfortunate,” Prime Minister Tillman Thomas told The Canadian Press in a phone interview from his home Sunday night.

“But people who know Grenada, people who have been coming to Grenada, will tell you that Grenada is the safest destination in the Caribbean.”

A police statement said officers Edward Gibson, Shaun Ganness and Ruddy Felix were arrested and charged Sunday in the beating death of 39-year-old Oscar Bartholomew of Toronto, who was visiting the island about 160 kilometres north of Venezuela to see family.

Relatives have accused a group of officers of beating Bartholomew into a coma last Monday.

They say he was killed after mistaking a plainclothes female police officer for a friend, lifting her for a hug in front of a police station in the island’s southeast. Bartholomew died of his injuries at a local hospital one day after the attack.

The Sunday arrests brought the number of police suspects to five. Officers Kenton Hazzard and Wendell Sylvester were charged previously after being detained on Thursday.