Outcomes - Selected Case Summaries



Police prevent man ingesting drugs during arrest and search

Investigation | 13 July 2021
Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS)

A complainant contacted us following arrest and search at their home. They were unhappy that the RCIPS had allegedly entered the residence without lawful authority, and that several police officers grabbed their throat and assaulted them during arrest. The complainant believed the officers had used unreasonable force.

In our investigation we found that a lawful search warrant was issued to search for drugs and a copy was received by a person at the residence. We established that, moments prior to arrest, the complainant tried to put a substance, believed to be cocaine into their mouth.

As this is a tactic used to conceal or destroy evidence, the police officers acted to prevent this. While doing so the complainant struggled and resisted. It took considerable effort from the police officers to restrain the complainant and prevent them from ingesting something that could cause them serious harm. The Police (Complaints by the Public) Act, 2017 gives police officers the authority to use reasonable force in the execution of their duty. The Ombudsman determined, having examined all the available evidence, that the complainant was lawfully arrested, and the force used was necessary and reasonable in the circumstances.

Therefore, the Ombudsman did not support the complaint.