A man who was beaten with a truncheon at the hands of police is speaking out.
The assailant, RCIPS officer Michael “Bobby” Peart, was convicted in December of common assault causing actual bodily harm. While officer Peart remains suspended with pay, his victim hopes justice is served at sentencing.
This is what actual bodily harm looks like, at least according to magistrate Angelyn Hernandez.
In December, she found Senior Constable Peart, a 15 year police veteran, guilty of common assault after beating Glen Bush with a truncheon in the back of a police car.
“I’m handcuffed behind my back, and the car got a cage in the front of it, so it’s no way that I can even hit him or do anything,” Mr. Bush told Cayman 27 reporter Joe Avary in an exclusive interview. “I got my hands behind my back and I’m there with him licking me with his baton like I’m some dog, it’s just not right.”
The incident happened during a police traffic operation at Eastern Avenue and Watlers Road in November 2014. Officer Peart was working a the checkpoint when he overheard Mr. Bush, who he knew, complaining about being pulled over. An argument occurred and escalated to a scuffle, which continued in the back of a police car.
Officer Peart denied using his baton, saying instead he held Mr. Bush’s legs and put an elbow against his chest to prevent him from damaging the police car or injuring officers, but the court didn’t buy that account.
“Every time he licked me, sir, I felt like I wanted to vomit, sir, right by my heart, my lungs, you know it could have killed me, sir,” said Mr. Bush.
Mr. Bush told Cayman 27 he’s appalled that officer Peart is allowed to collect his paycheck while he awaits his fate, in line with public servant policy.
“If it was me who had took and assaulted a police with a baton or hit a police with something, I wouldn’t be here standing up sir, I would be in Northward already,” said Mr. Bush. “They would’ve done throwed me up in Northward for licking a police.”
He said while the ultimate judgement rests in God’s hands, he hopes officer peart gets more than a slap on the wrist for his crime..
“To be honest with you, I think he deserves prison time for what he done, sir, because it wasn’t no right for it. I never licked him, I never done anything him, sir,” said Mr. Bush.
Police today confirmed constable Peart, like all RCIPS officers, is on civil servant pay grade “M” which means he’s receiving from $3,311 to $4,453 a month while he waits for sentencing, currently scheduled for March 27th.
In the wake of constable Peart’s conviction, and the convictions of two other officers in unrelated excessive force cases in December, Police Commissioner Derek Byrne issued this statement:
“Police officers… must have the right to use reasonable force while doing so without threat of prosecution. But this right never extends to the excessive use of force, which violates basic rights, erodes public confidence, and undermines the good work that the overwhelming majority of RCIPS officers often put themselves in harm’s way to do.”