Outcomes - Selected Case Summaries

Reasonable Use of Force During Search

Investigation | 30 October 2019
Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS)

RCIPS was investigating an incident in which two people had been shot and they identified a suspect. They obtained a search warrant for the residence where the suspect was staying and the Tactical Firearms Unit (TFU) executed the search warrant early in the morning. The TFU knocked on the door of the house and told all occupants to exit the residence to allow for the search. There were 12 occupants inside the residence, including the suspect. Several of the occupants were

children. The mother of the children refused to leave the home until she saw the search warrant. After being shown a copy of the warrant she still refused to leave so the TFU pulled her outside where she was arrested for obstruction and detained while the house was cleared. The complainant alleged that the police used excessive force when she was removed from the house. She alleged that, as a result of being forcibly removed by the police, she suffered bruising and soreness to her arms.

The Ombudsman found that police had a valid search warrant resulting from a violent incident. She recognised the increased risk in searching a premise in relation to a violent crime and understood why the TFU was involved in clearing

the residence. The complainant refused to leave despite the TFU’s repeated requests to do so. The Ombudsman found the complainant was lawfully arrested for obstructing the police. Section 153 of The Police Law (2017 Revision) gives police officers the authority to use reasonable force in the execution of their duty. Having examined all available evidence the Ombudsman found that the force used in this case was proportionate. The complaint was not supported.