Outcomes - Selected Case Summaries



Police Use Reasonable Force During Arrest and Search

Investigation | 04 March 2020
Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS)

A man who had been searched while handcuffed and seated in a police patrol car complained to the Ombudsman that he was placed in a choke hold by an RCIPS officer during that search. He alleged that this was an unreasonable use of force by that officer. 

The August 2019 incident began when the man’s vehicle broke down across from a local police station. The investigation found that he had fled the scene on foot after multiple officers arrived. The fleeing man was caught and arrested and a struggle with the officers ensued, resulting in injuries to the man and two police officers. No complaints were made against either of those officers. 

Following the foot chase, the man was placed in a patrol car and was searched by a third police officer.

The Ombudsman found that this was unusual, since normal police procedure would require the suspect to be searched before he was placed in the patrol vehicle. The man gave an account of the search and alleged choking that differed substantially from the one he gave to police immediately after the incident. 

The police officer involved in the search inside the vehicle noted that he was forced to hold the man down using a forearm to the sternum because the suspect was struggling and kicking. The Ombudsman found that the officer’s account of the incident was credible and that he had provided a reasonable explanation for why he used force. The complaint against the officer was not supported.