Crime and Justice
I’AKOBI MALONEY, 23 years
old, died on June 18th 2008. The case and its proceedings
have gripped Barbados and the public in much debate and speculation
surrounding the circumstances under which this young man met his death.
So far, it has been a case
of the people versus the Police where a definite and suspicious air
of secrecy and cover up has been allowed to permeate the process of
judiciary and police investigation. However, the case has been
thrown into convulsions with conflicting witness statements and completely
erroneous and irrelevant material being propagated, and printed in the
media, in a vaguely concealed attempt at blinding the public’s eye
as to what actually took place on that fateful day. It is
also completely unscrupulous of the Royal Barbados Police Force to totally
ignore the family in requesting an autopsy performed by an international
criminal forensics expert who could have been solicited to perform an
autopsy and provide a far more experienced, second opinion, on determination
of the cause of death.
The circumstances surrounding
the death of Mr. Maloney are open to debate, and as far as the public
is concerned the case has met its end with the verdict of Madam Justice,
Faith Marshall Harris in pronouncing it as; death by misadventure.
Two points stand out as having been overlooked. First, why was questioning of an individual being conducted at the alleged location, where a suspects rights in having access to his attorney would have been impossible? Second, in conducting questioning of an individual without first apprising the individual of these rights, is a serious contravention of the laws of due process and can be considered a prosecutable crime. If the police officers in question had apprised Mr. Maloney of his rights to an attorney before they began questioning him, due process would have dictated that he accompany them to a police station for a thorough interview, thus avoiding tragedy. However, no mention of this process has come to the knowledge of the public and has led to speculation that a very serious attempt to cover the glaring mistakes of the RBPF may have been engineered.
The third point in question is the statement given by an independent witness one Mr. Collymore.
He stated that he observed
a vehicle, registration number S 940, arrive at the location and park
about 8 feet away from the edge of the cliff. Given the
reports that the area was unstable with crumbling edges and cracks,
where even fishermen are reportedly afraid to approach the edge of the
cliff, why would someone park a vehicle weighing over a thousand pounds
as close as 8 feet to the edge of the said cliff ? This
fact calls into question the validity of the statement made, due to
the fact that the observer, Mr. Collymore, was allegedly using binoculars.
It is a well known opthamological fact that in using binoculars the
human eye’s ocular occlusion is unable to distinguish or judge distance
accurately, due to the magnification factor of the binoculars.
This is so because the cornea
of the human eye when looking at an object at distance, and magnified,
is completely expanded in order to allow maximum light reception and
will thus over rule its natural peripheral vision occularity in order
to properly ascertain and decipher the image being relayed.
This fact was discovered when snipers of the U.S. Army during the Second
World War misjudged distances drastically with disastrous results, prompting
the development in recent times of the laser range finding scope which
uses a high powered laser beam to accurately calculate distance to targets,
by measuring the speed of laser light reflectivity from the scope to
the target and back again, thus providing accurate measurements.
Further more, because the observer was looking at the scene, in scientific terms, on the X axis or against the horizon, judgment of accurate distance would have been impossible due to the back ground of the ocean and the sky and also lack of any vertical or Y axis object from which to gauge an accurate perspective. Having thus proven the inconclusiveness of the witness’ statement, it is now, only possible to deduce that a vehicle and 3 men were at the scene.
Therefore there is really only
one option left to the revealing of the truth, and that option is probably
one of the longest shots ever attempted with only a one million to one
chance of success. This course of action would seek to access
satellite photography of Barbados on that day, June 18th
2008, and also at the alleged time of the incident taking place.
The chance that an orbiting satellite of any of the five international
space agencies would have been photographing the island at that time
whether from a low altitude perigee or from a high altitude apogee position
is extremely remote.
However, there is a chance that a satellite placed in a geostationary orbit of 22, 390 miles over the equator might have been taking digitally enhanced and infra red photo imagery of the island.
A geostationary orbit is directly above the Earth’s equator (0 degrees Latitude) with an equal period to the Earth’s rotational period and an orbital eccentricity, or absolute shape, of approximately zero. From any location on the surface of the Earth, geostationary satellites will appear motionless in the sky. Therefore, due to the constant 0 degree latitude and circularity of geostationary orbits, satellites in geostationary orbit differ in location by longitude only.
The most likely source of this
imagery of Barbados on that particular day in question would be either
the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) or the United
States Coast Guard (USCG). Both these agencies share and monitor
information received from a very efficient satellite known as Landsat
which is a high resolution Earth observation satellite. It is
likely that given the reports of drug activity off the coast of Barbados
on that day, there might have been an alert issued by the U.S. Coast
Guard after having received data from this satellite. This is
not beyond the realm of possibility given the very accurate plots obtained
on the movement of surface craft involved in drugs smuggling in 2007.
(See map below)
The Landsat satellite can download
imagery using a broadcast system known as High Resolution Picture Transmission
(HRPT). This imagery is typically between 2500 to 4000 DPI resolutions
and offers observers a finite analysis of what is happening on the surface
of the Earth. Typical photo resolution imagery is in the
order of 4000 DPI per square meter which when properly analyzed would
give a very clear picture inclusive of detail as small as a one dollar
coin. Images which are fuzzy or out of standard transmission
pixilation parameters can be electronically enhanced using a forensics
process known as Infra Red Photo Spectrometry Analysis where the pixels
of a grainy or fuzzy picture are electronically aligned with matching
pixels of similar light absorption or reflectivity, allowing a clear
image to be identified.
There is however one unfortunate
element that could be of significance in this effort. If the particular
location in question was covered by cloud at the time the imagery was
taken, there would be no way of identifying any object of relevance
due to the cloud cover. Even thin cloud cover can completely
frustrate satellite imagery due to the lack of sun angle measurements
being rendered useless because of “no shadow” conditions.
Satellite imagery therefore is most often taken at times of day when
there is almost no shadow, i.e.; when the sun is directly overhead,
or at mid morning and afternoon, when accurate shadow measurement of
objects on the Earth’s surface can be calculated by measuring the
length or width of the shadow produced by the particular object.
For example; In observing certain
activity on the island of Cuba in 1963, imagery taken from a U.S.
Air Force Photo Reconnaissance Lockheed U2 aircraft flying at 70,000
ft altitude, revealed, that there were in fact, missile launchers located
at San Cristobal, Cuba. By measuring the shadow produced from an erect
Soviet R12 Medium Range Ballistic Missile (MRBM) launcher, and cross
referencing the calculated result with known Soviet Military Intelligence
(GRU) data received from undercover operatives within the ranks of the
Soviet Union’s, Red Army.
It goes without saying, that
should there be imagery from a geostationary Landsat in existence; it
would be of immense value in being able to accurately produce clear
and unequivocal evidence of what took place on June 18th
2008. Furthermore, should the evidence exist and allowed
to be used in a court of law, it would be the first time in history
that satellite imagery would have been used in alleged homicide proceedings.
Should the family of the deceased, Mr. Maloney, be inclined to pursue this option it would have to be done with an official request originating from a judicial figure outside of Barbados, preferably with the cooperation of senior Interpol officers and with a direct grant of access being issued by a joint committee of the London Privy Council. This is necessary to avoid the local judiciary, suspected of a cover up, from corrupting the proceedings further by using their official status to access the same information being sought by the family, and having it destroyed. Should permission be granted following the above details as outlined, it must be of absolute priority that an appeal be lodged with immediate effect in order to secure all files and documentation pertaining to the case for further analysis.
The verdict may be in but the
real answers, truth and justice have yet to be revealed due to serious
breaches of Police forensic scientific procedure. It is completely
incomprehensible how a reported case of suicide could have been so shrouded
in secrecy, collusion and severe judicial, police and forensic malpractice.
There are many questions still left unanswered and many points of forensic
analysis yet to be examined. The main issues here surround
the facts – - I’Akobi Maloney, a 23 year old youth of Rastafarian
faith, died under questionable circumstances while in the presence of
law enforcement officers.
Forensic science is the tool by which cause of death or serious criminal circumstance can be deduced by utilizing advanced technology, clues and common sense. It is of utmost importance to the revelation of the truth in any forensics examination or investigation that the scene is completely secured from contamination in the form of unauthorized human traffic and careless initial witness curiosity. It is also imperative to have access to the scene by a route least likely to disturb evidence. Was this procedure followed in this case? Definitely not.
The scene of the alleged suicide
was quickly overrun by curious residents crowding around to get a glimpse
of the body of the young man. Evidence that may have been crucial
to establishing a credible timeline would have been irreparably damaged
or destroyed by the many people tramping around within the scene.
Correct procedure would have called for the cordoning off of the entire area measuring approximately 200 yds2, with a small temporarily covered area measuring 20ft x 20ft set up within this space. The covered area is crucial to housing forensic field equipment that can be used in initial testing of trace evidence and photographic analysis among other important procedures. The entire area of 200 yds2 should have been clearly marked with Police tape and a single route of entry to the exact scene identified. A smaller covered area measuring 10ft x 10ft should be erected just outside this main area, under strict police supervision, for members of the press. Upon initial statements at the scene being collected and all trace evidence being thoroughly analyzed, forensics investigators should have embarked upon a concentrated and thorough search for blood traces, vehicle tyre impressions, foot prints etc.
Why were these very necessary
procedures not carried out? And if they were, where is the evidence
and reports supporting the fact? A report detailing the
securing of the crime scene would also have included photographs of
how the scene was found, how it was subsequently secured, and also a
documented list of all personnel traversing the location. Public
access would have been strictly prohibited. If this report exists,
why was it not presented at the initial inquiry? Simply because
there was no crime scene security at any time whatsoever and removal
of the body was not until almost 14 hours later. Crucial
forensic evidence would have been lost while the body remained in contact
with salt water, washing away any initial trace evidence needed to establish
time of death or other contributing elements.
Everything and anything within the crime scene should also have been secured for further investigation. Vehicles, clothing, weapons and the personal effects of both Police officers present should have been secured immediately, along with all items belonging to the victim.
This procedure is very necessary
in establishing the circumstances surrounding how the incident occurred,
and can also be very beneficial in proving or disproving direct Police
involvement. Furthermore, upon an initial field analysis of evidence
at the scene, investigators would have been able to come away with concrete
answers for the family of the deceased. Due process would then
have dictated that a series of interviews with all members of the family
would have followed, in order to establish any characteristic or personal
traits that may have lead to the incident taking place.
In any forensic investigation,
medical and dental records are very beneficial in establishing various
characteristics of the victim, such as; weight, height, previous ailments,
dental impressions and radiological data. This is necessary in
order to cross reference evidence of damages found on the body with
those on record, if any, and also to identify if any previous conditions
might have contributed to the cause of death. It is of serious
concern to forensic scientists when evidence on a body does not match
the circumstances or evidence taken at the scene. Was this very
important set of procedures carried out with regard to establishing
evidence in this case? If so where are the forensic forms and
correspondence requesting the release of any and all medical information
of the victim? Also where is the evidence of legal affidavit by the
Royal Barbados Police Force requesting that such information be released
to the coroner?
Had the RBPF in fact carried
out this exercise in accordance with professional forensics procedure
there would be a clear paper trail beginning with the coroner’s office
and progressing to the desk of the Criminal Investigations Department
and from there to the relevant medical personnel who would have any
such records on file. If these forms do exist to verify
these requests why have they been kept out of the legal proceedings?
Do these medical records pose a danger to the sworn statements of the
Police officers involved, or is it that this procedure was completely
overlooked in the course of botched and tangled attempts at “plausible
Professional forensic procedures
would also have called for the securing of the unmarked Police vehicle
S 940 which was positively identified as having been at the scene.
This vehicle should be thoroughly inspected using specially developed
closed environment inspection techniques that would identify any trace
evidence of blood, finger prints, hair strands, gun powder residue or
clothing fibres that might possibly be linked to the circumstances of
death. Due to the body being already buried, further incriminating
trace evidence that could prove or disprove suspicion of murder can
only be verified, in this case, if an exhumation order was granted by
the Chief Justice via the High Court. It is absolutely essential
to the successful conclusion of this case that exhumation be carried
out with due haste, as every day of decomposition that occurs lessens
the chances of discovering the truth.
Should this request be granted,
it is of absolute priority that a complete radiological scan of the
entire body, be conducted. This is imperative to establishing
evidence of brutality by identification of compound fractures, regular
fractures, tissue embolism, gunshot wounds, possible gunshot trajectory
path damage and subsequent evidence of trauma hemorrhage. Gunshot
residue and wound path evidence, if any, would be deduced by utilizing
a process known as Electron Microscopy to detect any trace evidence
left in the tissue or particles of a bullet that may have fragmented
upon impact. Reliable reports stated that both Police
officers in question were issued Glock 40 firearms that very day. Proper
forensic procedures would have called for securing both weapons for
thorough testing and ballistics analysis.
Should the combination of Radiology,
Electron Microscopy and Ballistics analysis show evidence of gunshot
wounds or residue, a thorough and detailed analysis report accompanied
by detailed photographs must be compiled as critical evidence and secured
immediately for presentation in a court of law. Security of this
evidence is crucial and must not be left solely in the care of the RBPF
as the department’s notoriety at “losing” crucial evidence
is legendary when disclosures are about to be made. Furthermore,
all post exhumation procedures as outlined above should be carried out
by trained professionals outside of Barbados in the full presence of
a detective of the RBPF Criminal Investigations Department.
This officer’s presence is necessary to avoid claims of prejudicial
bias that might be construed as plausibly casting incriminating doubt
on evidence, and the verdict, as it currently stands. It is also
crucial to bear in mind that should forensic analysis reveal no evidence
linked to possible murder, it would be incumbent upon the family to
request a detailed reconstruction of the events with active participation
by both Messrs Walkes and Headley, in order to accurately re-enact the
incident as it took place.
Returning to the scene at Land
Lock, it is clear that no proper forensic procedures were conducted
to establish exact positions or relevant directions of travel relating
to precisely how the incident unfolded. Correct procedures would
have identified vehicle tyre tread impressions which would have been
photographed, measured and physical impression casts taken in order
to clearly identify the type of tyre on the vehicle and the direction
from which the vehicle would have arrived on the scene. These
impressions would then have been used to either prove or disprove witness
statements, initial statements by the officers and, establish where
the vehicle was located at the time of the incident. Furthermore,
the said vehicle should have been secured for the duration of inquiry
at the specific request of the coroner and the family’s lawyers pending
further forensic analysis and investigation. Why was this
not done? It is ridiculous nonsense to suggest that Barbados does
not have the techniques or equipment to carry out such procedures.
Why then did the BLP administration allocate over $ 8 million dollars
to the establishment of a forensics laboratory? Is this
facility used in the capacity for which it was intended, or does it
just occupy another one of government’s funding allocation slots without
actually accomplishing much in the way of real progress toward serving
the public from whose purse it was built?
Anyone bringing the argument
of “ill equipped” to the table concerning the Government
Forensics Laboratory pertaining to the lack of professional procedures
as displayed in this case, is clearly not considering the fact that
this establishment has consumed, and continues to consume, a substantial
amount of budget funding every fiscal year. If it is not equipped
to carry out professional procedures into criminal and domestic cases,
why is it still in operation? Furthermore, this establishment should
be called upon to produce its financial statements and progress reports
as a matter of course to prove that continued training and investment
in modern forensic equipment is indeed an ongoing process.
Dr. Cheryl Corbin, the director of the GFL, has many questions to answer
concerning the performance and professional procedures conducted under
her management. Serious breaches of forensic science code of ethics
and operational procedure is blatantly apparent and although not directly
answerable to the court for this lack of professional attributes, is
solely responsible for educating the public and the family of the deceased
as to what actually took place within the establishment.
Continuing, the issue of the
victim’s cell phone being in Police possession for over 4 months is
another reason to question forensics procedures in this case.
Had the RBPF suspected the cell phone of having incriminating evidence
contained in its electronic memory, why was this suspicion not made
evident at the beginning of the inquiry? If the RBPF did have
reason to impound the cell phone pending further analysis for clues
to see if the victim had spoken to anyone that might be aware of his
intentions, why were these reasons not clearly stated before the court
and verified by an electronics technician who could have been requested
to analyze the cell phone for crucial evidence?
Electronic evidence in any
forensic investigation is absolutely crucial to establishing credible
timelines of events in a modern communications environment. What evidence,
if any, have the RBPF been able to glean from the victim’s cell phone?
If there was evidence, no matter how circumstantial, why hasn’t it
been presented for the benefit of the court and the family? Was
the phone secured by the RBPF and its SIM card wiped clean because it
may have contained incriminating evidence against the Police?
Or was it just picked up and held indefinitely because it might have
served a purpose later on? Or more sinisterly, was it accessed
illegally to plant false and incriminating electronic evidence that
could be used against any efforts to have this case brought to a successful
In closing, it is imperative
that the Maloney family seek the attention of the highest recourse to
justice in having their questions answered, the truth told and to bring
closure to many in their community. Their first order of business should
be to seek the attention of the Chief Justice of Barbados, Sir David
Simmons, in order to have an official judiciary order of exhumation
issued without delay. Should this request be granted and the body
released into the custody of the family, it is imperative that the body
be transported to a professionally equipped forensics laboratory in
the United Kingdom, where, under the express wishes of the family and
supervision of Scotland Yard Forensic Science personnel, a complete
and thorough examination of the body can be carried out.
It is hoped that the findings
from this procedure will bring to light the truth as it is and that
a continued message of hope be innervated into all of Barbadian society
that- incompetence, cover up, collusion and obstruction of justice is
not tolerated any longer, and will never be.
Recent calls by the Rastafarian
community for an official apology by the Royal Barbados Police Force
are of little consolation in determining the truth surrounding the death
of Mr. Iakobi Maloney. Little has been accomplished in the
way of establishing a concentrated drive toward the discriminatory practices
of the Royal Barbados Police Force both - towards the general public
and the Rastafarian community. Holding meetings where
portraits are admired and reminiscence is expanded upon is not the answer
to the issue at stake. It is agreed that a certain public awareness
must be kept front and centre concerning the issues of the Rastafarian
community, but a more definite effort at direction of will and a sense
of purpose must be adopted.
The brother of the deceased,
Mr. Mandela Maloney, must seek to embrace the issue based not on what
he can call for within private citizen’s rights, but what is available
on the wider international “human rights” platform
that has been so blatantly circumvented. No amount of “reasoning”
no matter how well it is publicized can avert the fact that serious
miscarriage of judicial decision making, and legal due process, has
to be resolved by a serious application of higher judicial power.
Furthermore, if a legal appellate fails to secure the necessary results
and the revealing of the truth, then it is wholly incumbent upon the
entire Rastafarian community, and the family, to seek the highest legal
recourse, at the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ).
Police commissioner Darwin
Dottin, has attempted to throw the Rastafarian community a bone instead
of a true olive branch. Bones are usually dry and only have
two ends, one with which to promise and the other end with which to
deny all involvement when the pressures of truth comes too close to home.
An olive branch has a stem with many mature leaves and may at spring
time bud, and was first used by the ancient Greeks as a means of establishing
peace and continued conditions of dialogue and sincere efforts at reconciliation.
Each leaf of the olive branch can be considered a symbol of continued
and sincere effort at establishing equality of rights and perusal of
the pertinent issues facing the local Rastafarian community. A
bone has no such power.
The Rastafarian community worldwide
has to follow in the continued adoration of the late
Bob Marley. Bob’s music was his greatest
weapon of change, and though far removed from todays offering of confusion
and disrespect of women “bashments” that have pervaded society,
lives on in glorious hope of peace, hope, strength and reconciliation
as the weapons of war. Marley’s words “Release yourselves'
from mental slavery” were not just a lyrical composition aimed
at empowering communities, but were pointed directly at fostering the
will within oneself to “Rise up, standup, standup for your rights”.
This call should emanate even more resolutely through the local Rastafari
community by embracing the enormous challenge of seeking, by all means
possible, true justice; the much needed opening of dialogue, using
other arsenals such as the higher education of their peers engaging
modern legal and technological instruments of the law.
There is some serious concern
that the image of the Rastafarian community has been damaged severely
by individuals who profess the faith, dress accordingly, but who engage
in socially deviant behavior. These individuals know who
they are and what they are not representing by their miscreant behavior
and frequent run-ins with the law. What is completely unacceptable
is the fact that the true Rastafari faith and movement locally is automatically
branded as being wholly responsible for the conduct of these individuals.
Indeed, what is much needed for the healing of relations between the
local Rastafarian community, the public and especially law enforcement
is; a concentrated effort at publicly denouncing those practices, which
are causing harm to the faith and community. Further, those individuals
bearing the tools of scholastic empowerment should actively become involved
in the monitoring of legal process and its effects, alluding to the
community being as intelligent as possible pertaining to matters before
the courts, legal representation, and the education of their younger
It is not enough to simply
pass on the torch of faith to the younger generation in the hope that
they will accept the circumstances and fall in line. Educationally,
the Rastafarian community has been discriminated against at will and
has had to struggle with a stigma that has been turned into a damaging
force by an unintelligent and willfully narrow minded public.
Ignorance is not hereditary but rather a state of the mind influenced
by the unwillingness to accept the fear of ones own shortcomings.
The Royal Barbados Police Force
is one of the many government organizations who flounder on in desperation
everyday, hoping that the next day will be better but failing utterly
to address the fundamental issues of ingrained discriminatory attitudes
and inherently flawed operating procedures. Customer service
is non-existent, rude and inflammatory language is the norm, the public
is viewed as a nuisance and the appalling self preserving rock bottom
morale is utterly incomprehensible.
What is ever more disturbing is the fact that recent events surrounding the murder of a Canadian tourist were seen to be a sterling job on the part of the RBPF with a substantial reward being offered for the assailants capture. Not surprisingly, the perpetrator was quickly apprehended and charged, with the RBPF made to look as though they were the cutting edge of law enforcement. Why is that same attitude and determination lacking in everyday public service?
Why was this professional courtesy not extended to the Maloney family? Was it deemed un-necessary to dedicate the same amount of urgency to finding out the truth about what actually took place in this young man’s last moments compared to the case of a wealthy Canadian Jew?
Where is the moral, social,
and law enforcement service equality, that is claimed to be a founding
principle of the Royal Barbados Police Force? Or is it that the
facade of vested interest and social status might be tarnished, and
thus must be preserved at all cost, irrespective of what happens to
the less socially empowered in the society?
The causes of the Rastafarian community are in much need of support at a very difficult time in their history. It is incumbent upon every member of that community and decent law abiding citizens of Barbados to demand equality morally, socially and professionally from each other so that a definite influence of change and understanding can innervate our society.
It is absolutely imperative
that the Maloney family seek every avenue available within the confines
of the law to have answers, truth and justice delivered without delay.
The public must also be kept fully informed every step of the way along
the difficult path ahead, in order that a very clear and unequivocal
message be relayed that unprofessional, tardy and inappropriate action
by the RBPF directed toward any member of society, will not be tolerated.
Also, the Rastafarian community
must seek to use this opportunity whilst in the social spotlight to
educate the public in creative ways that can help to generate hope and
a chance to speak as one voice, from within the society.
There has been much done already toward this end and it is to be highly
commended, but the true legacy of what is within each other will be
bound together even more firmly if the colonial imperialist stigma of;
“being unable to live in the Tenement Yard” is confronted
by the dedication to social equality and justice.
It is now blatantly apparent
that serious misappropriations and miscarriages of investigative procedures
are to blame for the so called final verdict given by Madam Justice,
Faith Marshall Harris in pronouncing the death of Mr. I’Akobi Maloney
as “Death by misadventure”.
There are several salient points
to be raised and many pointed questions need to be answered concerning
the forensic procedures carried out and the post autopsy investigations
which are yet to be revealed to the public. It is not without
some concern that the forensic pathology and autopsy investigative reports,
photographs and audio narrative autopsy recordings are yet to be brought
before the court for analysis. Where are they? Throughout
the entire court proceedings no mention of these very important and
highly valued forensics analysis proceedings and recordings has been
made, or presented to, the court or the family of the deceased.
It is standard forensics autopsy
proceedings in any death whether homicide, suicide or by other means
to video record all relevant procedures during the autopsy accompanied
by a continuous narration of those procedures. Photographs of
relevant injuries, wounds, lacerations and broken bones usually also
accompany a complete radiological (X ray) scan of the body, in order
to verify whether excessive force from human, weapons or other instruments
contributed to, or were responsible for, the cause of death.
Impact points on the body that are not accompanied by lacerations or
wounds are also carefully noted, in order to ascertain how the body
may have struck, or was struck, by an object or structure in a particular
way. Where are these records?
The two policemen who allegedly
witnessed Mr. Maloney “jump off the cliff “ have given no specific
time lines as to when, or exactly where, this young man met his end
other than to accompany a judiciary entourage to the scene of his death.
The questions here arise around the fact that, if Mr. Maloney did in
fact deem it necessary to jump from the cliff in an apparent loss of
mental faculties, did the two police officers present, who saw him jump,
immediately radio RBPF Operations Control to request an ambulance and
It is a well known medical
fact that in any case of severe trauma to the human body the first 60
minutes immediately following injury, is the “ Golden Hour “ or
time frame where a 98% chance of survival is almost certain, provided
medical support services are able to respond suitably. Given
the remote location of the scene of death and possible confusion over
its exact location by emergency personnel, it is highly likely that
darkness would have fallen by the time any meaningful rescue efforts
could have been mounted. Furthermore, given the precarious
nature of the body’s location; i.e. at the foot of a cliff, the only
personnel capable of successful rescue would have been select members
of the Barbados Defense Force who would have been dispatched with specialized
equipment for recovering the body. This gives rise to the
immediate question of “how long did it take before the body was recovered
and when were emergency personnel summoned as a result of the incident?”
The body was not recovered until the next morning which is a blatant
lack of respect and a callous and inhumane act on the part of the Police
who did have access to all means necessary in having the body recovered.
The timeline also appears to be of no relevance in the proceedings thus far, as no mention of it has been put to the public in any form whatsoever. Why not? Madam Justice, Faith Marshall Harris also completely overlooked the fact that no thorough investigation into establishing a credible timeline was ever carried out, when she ruled that “5 minutes was not accounted for” and therefore there could be no way of knowing what occurred in that time. This is a poorly concealed admission of absolute failure of forensic investigative procedure and due process.
Did Mr. Maloney in fact deem
it necessary to entertain doing serious bodily harm to himself, despite
suffering from severe back pains and other physical distresses, and
then carried out his actions in an attempt to implicate the police officers
for harassment and serious bodily harm? If so, then it is certain
that he had no intention to die because he would have instantly become
the victim of his own demise.
Furthermore, if this had been the case, why the secrecy and collusion of Police statements which match each other so closely as to warrant internal investigation into if they were copied from one another? Would it not be the epitome of “to protect and reassure“ the motto of the RBPF, to utilize all resources necessary in order to save this man’s life? And having done so with all possible speed, to immediately seek the attention of the family in order to have them aware of the apparent attempt at suicide?
Not only that, but to immediately
begin localized house to house interviews with all residents who may
have seen the deceased in order to establish an accurate timeline leading
to when police officers first arrived at the scene? Why
have these questions not been addressed? Why did it take over
six months or more for police statements and other relevant procedures
to be started? When did the independent witness, Mr. Collymore,
first deem it necessary to include his account of the incident, no matter
All these points immediately
lead to further questions surrounding the issue of drug snuggling activity
in the area. Police officers, Messrs Walkes and Headley
stated that they observed a whitish colored boat leaving the area upon
arrival at the scene and where they first encountered Mr. Maloney.
This information has never been corroborated by any one person whether
witness, resident or casual observer at anytime during the hearing.
Had a boat been in the area, which may have been owned or operated by
any local fishermen, a simple survey of all fisher folk or boat owners
as to their location or days activities on that particular day, at the
request of the RBPF, would have turned up a ready volunteer who would
have been able to assist in the investigation. Why was this
simple procedure not carried out?
This lack of plain ordinary
old fashioned Police work which is so astutely touted as the operating
standard of the RBPF is clearly an attempt to seduce public opinion
and debate into linking the deceased to known, or possible, drug smuggling
activity. Furthermore, the statement that a boat was observed
leaving the area, would lend itself to suggest that the deceased had
in some way warned the occupants of the vessel that imminent police
action was likely, and they fled the scene. Clever but groundless,
due to the fact that no short range radio transmitter/receiver, flags
or any other communications device was found among the deceased belongings.
The deceased cell phone was seized by the officers and was not returned
to the family until months later. Plenty of time to have any vital
clues as to the victims intentions or contacts erased, or more importantly
have falsely conceived incriminating messages added. Welcome
to the World of Electronic Evidence, both innocent and corrupt.
Given the officers statements
that the sea was raging and it was windy, there would have been no way
possible for the human voice to convey a warning to anyone within 50
yards far less a boat several hundred yards out to sea and against the
wind. Could the mention of a boat of whitish color, which is not
a definite identification of any color known, and coming from a supposed
veteran of Police operations, be in keeping with the professional duty
of a the RBPF where thorough investigation and accurate identification
is the modus operandi? Definitely not, which leads to the question,
was the statement made inclusive of the detail about a “whitish boat
leaving the area” in order to provide a measure of justification in
how the said officers conducted their alleged questioning of the deceased,
and could have led to him deciding to take his own life? Furthermore,
if he did take his own life, where is the evidence to support that fact?
Evidence of suicide by jumping
off a cliff has been catalogued in many different Police departments
worldwide and this evidence, as recorded by the resident forensics pathologist
present at the scene, would have been carefully recorded and archived.
Wounds and impact points on the body would have been noted, depth of
lacerations in keeping with body position and physical mechanics would
have been analyzed and a scientific recreation of the circumstances,
and actions of the individual would have been carefully researched and
carried out in order to learn more about the actual incident, and bringing
closure for the family.
If the deceased in question,
Mr. Maloney, did in fact take his own life, why was a thorough forensics
procedure inclusive of all of the scientific methods described above
not carried out? If the individual had been a visitor to
the island and of Canadian, European or American nationality would it
have made a difference in how the police and the judiciary proceeded?
Or is it just because the deceased was a Rastafarian that the case was
treated with a distinct air of nonchalance and disrespect, of a grieving
family and brotherhood?
It is common practice in forensic
science for investigations into un-natural deaths to warrant the use
of life size figures or mannequins in order to replicate exactly the
positions, actions and subsequent findings of any case of homicide,
suicide or other causes of death. Mannequins are widely used in
the automotive industry in order to research and study human body impact
behavior as a result of an automobile collision. In forensic
science these same mannequins are constructed from a material known
as Ballistics Gel, which replicates the mass, weight and consistency
of human flesh exactly. Given the testimony that the deceased
jumped off the cliff, would not a thorough analysis of the evidence
of injury found on the body of the deceased, be complete if a scientific
research project using a mannequin to replicate injury, wounds and broken
bones be carried out in order to verify consistency of damage with that
of the deceased?
It stands to reason that the
use of a mannequin constructed to replicate the deceased accurately
in weight, height and mass would have the exact fall characteristics,
impact resolutions and depth consistent wound lacerations of the original
victim. Furthermore, once this evidence was examined and found
to be consistent with those of the victim, it would be a matter of proving
to the court that the verdict of “misadventure” was flawed
given the evidence as found during the forensics reenactment.
However, if the forensics analysis should find the wounds, lacerations
and broken bones inconsistent with those of the victim, it would warrant
further and immediate investigation and the case reopened.
How did the victim die?
The fastest man in the world is Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt being able to cover the hundred meter sprint race in less than 10 seconds. Bolt’s speed was calculated at approximately 34 feet per second. Were Bolt to have run off the edge of the said 45ft cliff at 34 feet per second, given his speed, weight and body mass, he would carry on approximately 12 feet laterally before gravity would take over and his body would prescribe an arc to its point of impact at approximately 47 ft away from the cliff face, in the ocean. (See chart below)
This fact is arrived at by observing Newton’s 2nd Law of Motion
Where; the rate of change of momentum of a body is proportional to the force acting on it, and takes place in the direction of that force.
Knowledge of the victim’s
weight would be valuable in order to accurately calculate how far he
fell and with what velocity. Having the relevant information
it would only be a matter of principle calculation in order to arrive
at a reasonable forensics deduction as to how the victim met his end.
Did he jump or was he thrown from the cliff edge?
Given the deceased complaints of severe back pains and other ailments it is with serious doubt that the testimony regarding his suicidal leap off the cliff edge is regarded. This is due to the fact that the independent witness, Mr. Collymore, stated that the police officers stopped their vehicle approximately 8 feet from the cliff edge and began to question the subsequent victim.
If the victim had in fact leapt
off the cliff in a suicidal action, and supposing he had an 8 ft distance
to accelerate, his body would not prescribe the parabolic arc as that
of a body under constant force and prolonged time of acceleration, and
thus would have landed approximately a mere 16 feet away from the cliff
edge. Did he jump or was he thrown to his death?
Messrs Walkes and Headley state that the victim, Mr. Maloney, ran from them. They also state that the victim was bare foot and this can be verified due to the fact that shoes were recovered among the personal belongings. However, what has never been proved is if in fact the victim had been fleeing the officers when he met his end, or as they would have it “leapt to his death”.
Forensic autopsy observations
and photographs of the victim’s feet would verify this claim as the
soles of the feet should show lacerations, abrasions or scuffing consistent
with running action. However, no records of this fact seem to
exist. Why not?
Had the victim fled from the
officers in question, and given his weight and approximate speed, the
abrasions or scuffing marks left by the tortuous terrain (wind eroded
rocky surface) would have been easily identified on the balls of the
foot, toes, outer instep edge and the heel. Furthermore,
any lacerations or scuffing would have small remnants of debris trapped
within them which could easily be matched to the surrounding terrain
for consistency of organic material and geological structure.
This simple procedure for trace evidence could have been carried out
using a Scanning Electron Microscope utilizing Compound Infra Red Identification
filtering and Shadow/ Light Evocation Spectrometry and would accurately
identify the direction of the scuffing or lacerations and calculate
with some accuracy the speed at which the victim may have been traveling
when they occurred, proving conclusively whether the victim had in fact
been fleeing the officers.
In questioning the fisherman
who is reported to have met the victim a few hours before his death,
he said that Mr. Maloney alighted from a Speightstown bus at approximately
12.30 p.m. in the afternoon of the day in question. He was unable
to accurately identify any reasonable timeline leading up to when he
first heard about the incident and observed the deceased lying at the
foot of the cliff. What is of concern
in this case is; that no one besides this individual can account for
the victim being present at or nearby the scene, which leads toward
to the question of; had the victim been on his way to the cove, “to
chill for awhile” as was reportedly stated by those who spoke to him,
and given the time of day, namely early afternoon, why was he reportedly
found “behaving strangely” over quarter of a mile away from the
nearest shaded area in Little Bay of his last known location and well
over one mile (walking distance) from the shaded tree area of Gays Cove?
Would it not make more sense for someone who desired a little peace
and relaxation to gravitate toward a shaded area with trees and a tranquil
setting away from the hot afternoon sun? Why then did the
victim say he was going to “chill out for awhile” if he had no intention
of seeking shade and a tranquil setting in which to do so?
This leads to the further question
of; did the victim disembark at the entrance to Little Bay but then
walk across to Gays Cove? If so, did the Police officers
in question intercept him whilst en route? Highly unlikely due
to the fact that the last reported sighting of the victim was at 12.30
p.m. and the arrival of the Police was reported to be 5.46 p.m. leaving
plenty of time for the victim to walk to Gays Cove. It is
therefore highly speculative, but not beyond the realm of possibility,
that the victim was accosted at Gays Cove, beaten severely and then
transported to the Land Lock area and disposed of. If so,
why was this question not raised by the lawyer of the family especially
when reports by the very same officers at the scene, indicated that
there were other members of the RBPF at Gays Cove when they encountered
the victim at Land Lock?
The statement by Messrs Walkes
and Headley that they could see other members of the Police Force at
Gays Cove would immediately lead to the question of; why was a call
for back up assistance in dealing with what they reported as a “disturbed
individual” not immediately put out? And, if it was, why was
the fact not documented in the statements of the other RBPF members
or be confirmed by Operations Control? There is a very serious
issue at stake here. A young man is dead under reportedly suicide conditions
but no evidence to support that fact either forensic, criminal or circumstantial
has been deemed necessary of thorough investigation.
There is also the question that has not been asked by either lawyer, witnesses, family or the Madam Justice herself during the inquiry of; from which direction did the independent witness, Mr. Collymore, observe the unmarked Police Vehicle S 940 approach across the terrain?
This is absolutely crucial to proving possible pre death Police involvement in that; if the vehicle had approached from the South, from the direction of Gays Cove, across the rough terrain, it could be deduced that the victim might have been previously accosted and was in fact moved from a former location and placed at Land Lock. The natural self preservation instinct of the human mind would dictate that if the victim had died during a severe beating, the most cost effective and readily sought avenue of disposal without leading to an official crime scene and thus lengthy criminal investigation, would be to dispose of the body at a lonely place where there would be the least likely hood of being observed, and at a time when distinct detail could not be established due to failing light.
Furthermore, given the two
most likely observation points and taking particular notice of their
individual layout, both being dwelling houses, it is unlikely that anyone
did observe a vehicle from these locations due to the rooms of those
houses being bedrooms and thus, more probable to being unoccupied at
that time. Given that the one independent witness, Mr. Collymore,
was using binoculars over a distance of a mere 400 yards, why is it
that he is as yet unable to supply pertinent details as to color and
items of clothing of the victim but has been able to clearly identify
the vehicle registration number as S 940 and that both officers were
in plain clothes?
This immediately calls into to question the validity of this witness as a verifiable source of information. Furthermore, given reliable and corroborated local resident reports of his frantic behavior at the scene following the incident, in which he is reported to have offered a sum of
$500 dollars to anyone who
would be willing to climb down the cliff and perform a rescue of the
body, a clearer picture of how this witness’ information came to be,
can be deduced. If this witness “turned away” from his
window as he stated and therefore did not see anything take place, why
the urgent and frantic efforts to perform rescue on someone he didn’t
even know or may have had no interest in knowing? Any good
citizen would rush to rescue a fellow man; therefore if he had no means
to perform the rescue himself offering to pay someone to do it would
This kind of behavior is commonly known as Suspect Behavioral Abnormality (SBA).
In criminal investigations
worldwide it is well documented fact where persons realizing their responsibility
to report what they might have seen or observed in the course of time
leading up to an incident, become over enamored with an urgent sense
of civic duty to the point where they actually attract unnecessary attention
to themselves during criminal proceedings. This is so due to ever
diligent police observation of human behavioral trends in which a potential
suspect can be identified due to his or her abnormal, or unusual, actions
immediately following the incident. Given reliable local resident
reports, this was indeed the case of the one Mr. Collymore on the evening
in question, when a large crowd had reportedly gathered to observe the
body of the victim on the rocks below.
Had the scene been professionally
secured by placing Police personnel all around the area, this individual’s
behavior would have been observed and taken note of for further investigation.
However, due to the now blatantly apparent police collusion and subsequent
judicial cover up none of these very important and absolutely necessary
steps at preserving the scene in every way and taking note of any, and
everything, taking place around it was ever conducted. Why not?
Furthermore, given this unusual
behavior by the independent witness, why was this not relayed to the
Police? Or if it was, why wasn’t it acted upon by bringing the
witness to the Holetown Police station for a thorough questioning.
The witness may have been questioned by Police, it is not known, but
if the questioning had been thoroughly conducted and analyzed, the questions
being raised here would have been answered. Furthermore,
had the witness been subjected to a polygraph test, the results would
have quickly ruled out irrelevance from the facts thus leading to the
possibility of a completely different scenario of events, than was portrayed.
Why was the witness not subjected to polygraphist analysis?
In addition, why were Messrs Walkes and Headley also not subjected to
polygraphist analysis? Isn’t “truth” the reason
that forensic science was established in the first place?
Local residents of the area
reliably report that the said Mr. Collymore is well known to be a Police
informant. This fact could be established with an enormous
amount of accuracy if the witness was subjected to polygraph testing.
Furthermore, carefully engineered questioning by a trained professional
over several hours would expose any psychological weaknesses and could
possibly lead to the identification of an accurate timeline, and the
complete scene as to how and when the incident occurred.
Subsequent to the verdict an even further injustice was leveled against
the family and Rastafarian community when Police Commissioner Darwin
Dottin publicly called for more cooperation of the Rastafarian community
with the RBPF. Given the questions posed and suggested use
of investigative science and technology outlined above, how does he,
even in his wildest patriotic dreams, propose for that to happen?
The family of the victim has had to endure serious post death trauma and heartbreak, and in the circumstances, it is incumbent upon the judiciary to realize that; serious, unprofessional and blatant obstructions of justice brought about by amateur and willful breaches of due process, have led to an unequivocally skewed coroners decision that is seconded only by the nauseatingly repulsive and obnoxious self preserving attitude displayed by the Royal Barbados Police Force.