SALIENT POINTS WARRANTING FURTHER INVESTIGATION INTO THE I’AKOBI MALONEY CASE
Post date: May 15, 2009 1:43:53 PM
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 EMS personnel?
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 how obscure?
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 be plausible.
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.