Reporter arrested on job

| 07/01/2009

(CNS): Having reported making two arrests for obstruction at Shir Reynolds Nightclub on Saturday night, 3 January, the crime scene where 17-year-old Jerome Christopher Alexander Russell was shot dead, the police acknowledged yesterday that one of those arrested was Kenneth Bryan (left), a reporter with Cayman 27 News who has denied that he did anything wrong.

According to sources close to Bryan, the reporter was attempting to do his job by filming the murder scene for the local television news station and was following procedures as set out by his supervisors at Cayman Islands Television Network as agreed with the RCIPS. He has insisted that he remained behind the crime scene tape during filming but was still told by officers to move away and various heated exchanges took place.

Even when the crime scene tape was put further back, Bryan has said that he and his camera crew remained behind the tape at all times until they were forced to cross it after being blocked from the CITN van at which point Bryan was arrested. (Evidence of Bryan’s report can be viewed here)

Although CITN refused to make an official comment regarding the incident, CNS has learned that the station is standing by Bryan, who was released without charge, and has raised concerns with the police as this is not the first time reporters have been prevented from doing their jobs at crime scenes by officers unaware of the procedures for covering and reporting incidents of crime for the television media.

The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service often relies on the media to assist in getting out their messages regarding witnesses and information, and says it is keen to remain on good terms with all of the local media organisations. Speaking about this particular incident, Deborah Denis the Police Press Liaison, said on Tuesday 6 January on behalf of the RCIPS that both the police and CITN were taking what had happened at the scene seriously.

“The RCIPS is committed to working with the media and has an open media policy which stresses the need to work in partnership with all media houses. Education around what is expected from the media and the police at crime scenes will continue with reporters and internally with police staff,” she stated.

One source at CITN stated that they have concerns that police officers are themselves nervous about being filmed doing their job and therefore try to prevent television crews from working at scenes while having considerably less concerns about print and internet media houses, giving the film crews a disadvantage.

Moreover, as the media most able to respond visually and therefore attract a high viewing audience, the police are missing out on the opportunities to alert the public to incidents as well as opportunities to find witnesses by hampering TV crews in their work, they said.

 

 

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Just to clarify…it was PC MELBOURNE that was so helpful..not PC McIntosh.Thank you PC MELBOURNE…

  2. Kenneth Bryan says:

    Kenneth Bryan Responds.

    I want to say thanks to all the people who have posted the good things about me.  I want you to know that no matter what obstacles are put before me, I will continue to put my all into my job.   As I do my job, I am not only doing it for me, I am doing it for you, the people of Cayman.  I believe it is our right to be informed without censorship and that is a right I am willing to stand up for.

    I also hope that those who have read this article will feel that they too have the right to stand up for what they believe in although, hopefully it won’t end up with you having to spend 14 hours locked up.  

    Cayman, stay strong and remember to love yourself and each other.

    God Bless.

  3. Anonymous says:

    to the author of "while I ws not at the crime scene" you really made my day.That was truthful and funny the way you put that.

    My boyfriend was arrested for a traffic violation and was told by three of the four officers in the room that he was going to get"slapped down" that he would be "deported" and that he HAVE to sign WHATEVER PAPERS they gave him. The fourth officer however have been very professional and helpful and offered sound advice throughout the whole ordeal and beyond.Thank you PC McIntosh for your professionalism and kindness..and for proving that there still remains…many wonderful police officers doing a great job.

  4. Anonymous says:

    While I was not at the scene to see exactly what transpired with the reporter and the police, I believe this is perhaps a case of where a police officer(s) failed to execrcise a bit of common sense, tact and diplomacy.

    A firm but tactful approach to the reporter, (who may have got a bit too close to the crime scene perimeter line) is perhaps all that was required to be done. A simple but firm statement such as, "Gentlemen please,I can assure you that I will attempt to get a senior officer to speak with you momentarily to make a brief statement as to what has transpired a this crime scene but in the main time, please respect our crime scene perimeter line by standing back"

    I bet the approach was perhaps more like this, " Wa ya doing ya wed de camera, cut it off and get out a ya before I lock ya up"

    Thankfully the senior officer the following day at Central Police Station whom would have had to make a decision whether to accept the arrest/charge, decided through common sense that it was not in the public’s interest to proceed further. For this, the Commanding Officer should be applauded.

     

     

     

  5. Anonymous says:

    What about Equality??????????

    The main problem in the Cayman Islands are that individuals do not have equal rights what about Equality? As far as I can see from the facts published the Police did not follow procedures. Kenneth was doing the job that he was told to do by his employer so therefore why did the Police treat him in this manner? The Police in the Cayman Islands needs to know all aspect of the law before they arrest an individual. This is the case with the Judge who they arrest illegal. That’s why the people in the Cayman Islands will have to foot the bill for the lawsuited that will be taken out against the RCIPS because of their inappropriate behaviour.

  6. Anonymous says:

     

    Ok, I would like clarify from the start, I am a Caymanian, still think I’m young (late 30’s) and was a police officer in the 90’s (I resigned, not fired); I also apologize for this long winded letter.
    I really have had enough over this last year, of members of the general public (whether it be Caymanian or Foreign Nationals) criticizing the members of the RCIP. These officers are given the tools to work with via Governments budgets, and “YES” I believe not given all the tools to solve all horrendous crimes over this last year. We tend to forget that their were a number of robberies, shootings, rapes, burglaries, assaults, arrests for drug offences and even gang related events not mentioning all the fatal car accidents. Not just the several murders that took place.
    The arrest of a reporter is I consider a very serious thing and as we can see from the comment below we all have our different opinions on the case (I will not comment on this). I did however see the news interviews from the owners of the liquor license premise criticizing the police for not frequenting the property enough, and when they do, the officers just drive by. When I was in the force I also remember driving by this property(of course the 90’s were very different), we did get out of our vehicles back then and walk through the premises, in fact I recall a couple of times we got pelted by bottles in the car park. Not to make excuses for the current officers, but let’s think how many liquor license premises or for a better name NIGHT CLUBS; that over this last year have, had some serious crimes take place. There’s a lot. Unfortunately they can not be in all places at once. Now on the other hand, I was chatting with a friend the other day at lunch and we discussing the policing and one thing came up that was quite interesting, I am sure a lot of you will agree with me. In the day when either driving to work, going home or off driving to the beach or movies ask yourselves how many police cars/bikes do you see? I seem to see every marked car on the island all the time. Now lets talk about the night times, I must explain that my job does keep me out late sometimes and this includes into and after midnight. When driving home I have to drive 15 miles, so I am on the road for quite a while, I rarely see one marked police car, I do see the occasional unmarked but not many. I think this is were some of the problems lie, please let me explain, when I was in the force we used to work 7am-3pm, 3pm-11pm, 11pm-7am shifts, with approx 15-20 officers per shift. Now when we got to night shift, we had people taking time inlue or sick, this would bring our shift down to on occasions down to 8-10 officers this was for the GT area, which covers from Public Beach to Spotts Dock. We had to cover the cells, Government House, Front Desk and even man the 911 centre (I believe now these areas are covered by special constables or civilian staff). Taking all these location we have to work this left us with 4-6 officers to be on the roads. Ha I forgot the Inspector and or Sergeant whom usually did not go on the road, leaving us with 2-4 officers to cover this area. Now back to my point I bet you still find this is the case and there are a lot let officers on the roads at night. As I mentioned earlier I do want to make any excuses for the office but we do need to consider this. On the other hand the other evening I was driving home from SMB on the bypass (only car on the road) and in my rear view mirror I saw a car approaching a quite a high speed, it caught up to me quite quickly then slowed down behind me, I observed this vehicle swerving a little and was kind of concerned that I had a drunk driver riding my you know what. As we approached AL T’s I slowed down and let this vehicle go passed, as it passé the driver really did not speed up so I did not think much more, I did however get the license number. I continued to the left towards the airport to Crewe Rd and the car continued on through the traffic lights, of course happy I could continue my drive safely, I let down my senses. Now when I got to the round about by Kings, what I see the same car coming of the bypass again swerving, I stopped and let him pass again. I continued behind this car watching it go from one side to the other of the road and on occasion off the road. At this time I called the police station informing them of this car, the officer answering the phone was very professional and took al the info from me (atthis time I was just hitting Spotts straight), I hung and wondered if a police car would come into time before I pulled over. At this time I passed an unmarked traffic unit (please know one reply saying I do not know what one looks like, I do). I flicked my lights and as he passed hit my brakes thinking that he may slow down, he did not, I hit redial and the same officer answered the phone, I explained that I just saw a traffic unit pass me and if he turns around I will stay on the line and wait for him to catch up to us. I heard the this office call for the traffic unit and the traffic unit reply, told of what was going on the traffic officer reply that he had already passed Spotts and was heading towards South Sound, I was surprised at this reply, especially as we had only passed each other maybe a minute ago by Spotts dock and thought to myself he was an extremely fast driver or as this case appears to just be on e of those bad apples the RCIP unfortunately has. The office on the phone then informed me that he was going to get a hold of a BT unit to respond, I replied ok and told him I would follow the car until the unit was there. You have to know I live in Prospect, I reached Northward watching this car swerve from one side of the all the way, at this time I gave up and went home. All I could think of on the way home is that I really hope this person doesn’t hit another person and we would have our 1st fatal of the year. I woke up in the morning happy hear that there was not. Now this is a case of the other side of the force were they have just dread full officers, who are in the job for the money and that’s it. I hope that a senior officer reads this post and investigates this matter, because as far as I am concerned if this person had caused a fatal that evening (last Monday night 12:00am) I feel that the RCIP would be responsible for this as it could have been prevented.
    I believe that I have really typed to long a letter and will stop here, but I do have a lot more opinions I will one day post again. Thanks for reading and look forward to your replies.
  7. Jedi Dread says:

    I’m on the side of Kenneth on this one.

    It has been this type of fight for me in Cayman for the last 10 years, that is to say, there is always someone hindering you from something as simple as your own job, not realising they are only hindering themselves.  In other words, the Police and their actions in this situation, has once again, placed the RCIPS under negative light. If it goes around, it comes around.

    So I made my decision and left and have been tearing myself away from the negative veil of the envious souls whose energy covers Cayman like a Great Dark Cloud.

    And Cayman, knowing that I am breaking free, continue to claw at the inert goodness of my being, in hopes of weakening my defenses and ultimately causing my failure – so that they can say, with their evil grins and dry, Karma-ridden hands rubbing together – " I told you so. I told you, that you would not make it… "

    Now that I am out of the Box; the Truth of the attitude of Cayman People, Local and Expat alike, is very easy to see… as they reveal their lack of compassion and revel in the downfall of their fellow country man.

    The Beautiful Island That Time Forgot, that was so wonderful, serene and sacred to me as a child is now sadly drowning in its own Horrific Karma.

    Via Con Dios.

    – Jedi Dread –

  8. Bracker says:

    Keep up the good work, Kenneth, and continue to make us Brackers proud!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Kenneth’s "arrogance" as one writer calls it is actually his outgoing, confident personality which serves him extremely well in his public and private life. Kenneth, keep up the good work..I look forward DAILY to your reporting.

    Instead of pointing finger back and forth, let us all look in the same direction towards finding who is responsible for this is HORRIFIC crime that has claimed the life of yet another young person.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Why, why, why, Do the people of cayman trying to put down yet another young caymanian.  This young man is doing so good.   Stop puting him down.   This is not good for us as country.

  11. Anonymous says:

    While many of the people who have posted there comments on this story, none has said if they say what happened. Well i was there and i will tell what i saw.  I was already on the scence when the reporter in question came there.  When he came he started doing his thing for work right away.   Minutes later i saw him talking with an officer, and the officer said for him to leave the area.  I heard Mr. Bryan Say " from what i understnad sir, as long as i say behind the police tape i am with in my rights".  Then the officer walked away.  Then Mr. Bryan went on doing his work.  I am not sure what happened from there, but from what i saw the reporter did not seem to be causeing any problems but just doing his job.   I am not sure if the police had the right to tell him to leave because i dont know what the LAW states.   But from what i could see, he was not doing anything against the LAW.  Besides, there where tons of people there in the same area where he was shooting the camera and it was on the out side of  the police line.    How that can be wrong i dont know.   But i dont wanna say anymore before they track me down an arrest me too.

     

  12. Anonymous says:

    And here is the problem that we face in relation to society and the police : For some reason, members of the public, which includes some of the posters here, think that because they pay taxes, and because they have watched a few episodes of ‘CSI Miami,’ ‘The Bill,’ and ‘Law & Order SVU,’ they think that they are experts on all things policing. As a result of this, they make largely unfounded, uneducated criticisms of the police which are largely without foundation because they have no knowledge of police procedure and law. A classic example of this is the poster who is saying the arrest of the journalist in question was unlawful, as previously explained this is not the case, but why let facts get in the way of the truth when it makes a good story? Meanwhile readers of this thread who do not know any better will walk away thinking the RCIP is incompetent, and making unlawful arrests, which is not in-fact the case.

    I also pay taxes, and on occasion I have been known to watch ‘House’ and ‘ER,’ but you don’t find me on my rest days down at the George Town Hospital telling doctors how to do their job’s? And I suspect when members of the public and posters on this forum pass a burning building, which is being attended to by the fire service, they don’t go up to the leading fireman and tell him how they think he should be doing his job. So why is it when it comes to the policing operations, despite the fact most people have never studied law and police procedure, and have no practical experience in the role, they think that they have the pre-requisite knowledge to criticize the way in which police deal with ongoing enquiries?

    What is also ironic is that some of the posters here criticize for the fact a reporter was arrested for going behind the police line ; when there was the tragic murder of Estella in Cayman, and the story was reported on this website, many posters were criticizing the police because in their ‘learned opinion’ members of the public were allowed behind the police line, and the crime scene was dismantled too soon. And now people arecriticizing the police for doing the opposite, so it would appear some people just like to criticize, and will never be happy no matter what the police do.

    If many of the ‘arm chair’ critics that post comments on this thread are so conversant with police law and procedure, and they feel they are so qualified to criticize, I would suggest they apply to join the RCIP, as I believe they are looking for suitable applicants. That way they can pass on their extensive skills and experience, and show all the senior investigating officers how its done. God help us then.

  13. Twyla M Vargas says:

    BELIEVE IT OR NOT

    THE PRESS THE PUBLIC AND THE POLICE , They all can help solve a case and they can also kill evidence.

    The Press if properly trained, I believe can be of great assistance to the police, because taking pictures at a crime scene can sometimes capture the criminal or their associates.  A picture is worth a thousand words. Example: Persons swearing they were not present at a crime scene, but, hey!!!!!! shows up in one of the press photos.  "Gotcha"

    The public if not controlled by police can pose serious damage to investigations, Very serious damages by hiding evidence or destroying evidence.   That press camera may just be there at the right time.  If police is not very careful in how they conduct an investigation they can surely kill all the evidence, which they may need from the press and the public also.

    I do believe the Press and the police should share a good relation, because a picture can show a thousand words to the police.  They should be good friends.  Having a good relationship with the public is also important for the police because that  is where some of the evidence will come from.

    I do not know what took place at the crime scene, but I am familiar with Bryan and his work.  I must support that he is a well trained, exceptional  young man with very good respect and maners for the police and general public.  I do trust they both can work this out without any hard feelings.  The thin line is…………………………….They both need each other.

    Be blessed

     

  14. Anonymous says:

    In all seriousness, do these police officers have to do any sort of training? The are usually always nervous and always unorganized. You see some officers that couldn’t run a city block with out passing out cause they are so fat and others that only wear the badge to inflate their egos.

    I had this one incident and i tell it to everyone cause of the humour. I was pulled into my driveway, got out of my car to talk to my neighbour and this police officer pulled in behind me… He walked around my car inspecting it as we watched him. I asked if I could help him and he said that he would need a word with me.  I walked over and he said that I was speeding. I said "ok"… where was I speeding? How fast was I going? and where was he?…. he seemed very fluster by my questions, gave me a long stare and said "I’m not going to give you a ticket because….. (long pause), well i’m just not going to give you a ticket because I’m not going to give you a ticket…. slow down" and with those words of wisdom he left.

    I thought for an officer of the law and the protector of my family, we should all be very scared.

    Have you ever had something stolen? I did and I knew the person that did it. What did the police do??? absolutely nothing.. zip, zero!! They took my report and when I mentioned who it was they said "ohh he would never do a thing like that". Then it happened again… a local guy befriended me a ripped me off when I fled during Ivan. I again contacted the police, made a police report and again nothing was ever done. The reporting of a crime involved waking up the lady behind the glass and having her file it into "this will go away eventually file".

    Then there are these auxillary police. If the real officers were bad, think what these guys are. They don’t get paid for one and are the trigger happy cops with no guns. They have watched too many cop movies. Anywhere else in the world they would get laughed back to the theater they came from.

    No, I’m not even going to touch what has been going on at the higher levels.

    Cayman is a safe place to me only because the people here are inherently good people.

  15. Anonymous says:

    It is unfortunate that this type of incident had to occur in our islands and that many people view the police as the party who has made an error.

    However, knowing Mr. Bryan as somewhat of an arrogant person he may have coerced the police to act as they did and caused this upon himself.
     
    As for CITN’s comments or lack of comments I consider it damage control concerning a member of staff who seldom knows his place.
     
    Blaming it on the officers and officials who are trying do to their job, in what is a very serious crime is not an excuse (let us not forget the seriousness of the events that occurred in our tiny island nation last year).
     
    Whether there is a media law or specific procedures or not, Bryan should learn to take instructions. Give the police a break, isn’t their job hard enough without people getting in the way and believing they are above the law?
     
    Da Wha Ya Get!
     
     
    • Patricia Bryan says:

      obviously this commenter has a ‘hard-on’ for mr. bryan, who happens to be my brother. for the record, it is mr. bryan’s arrogance’ that landed him the very job that he was performing, which would eventually lead envious viewers like the composer of this comment , to become informed about the happenings of the incident. and that very arrogance is what makes a good reporter…great! and kenneth is great.

  16. Anonymous says:

    It also applies to photographers, as well. Having tried to photgraph various outdoor events (not news stories) have been told on several occasions to stop what I was doing. Freedom of Information came out this week – what timing!

  17. Anonymous says:

    Ironic is the word!.  The police need to get their act together.  If this was the US they would be too glad to have the reporters present.  This does not necessary mean that the news have to be made public but at least it can be recorded for evidence purposes. 

  18. Dwayne Djego says:

    I have seen this attitude from the Police before.

    There was a road traffic accident outside of my apartment complex.  Obviously, many of the public came to see what had caused the horrendous noise and found the mess left by the irresponsible driver.

    There was a reporter there from one of the TV stations who was constantly being told to turn off his camera and no photos or video were to be taken.  The Police were aggressive and rude towards the reporter and the public. 

    I asked the reporter what right the police had to tell him not to report the news.  He replied "It’s Cayman".  This young man was alsoCaymanian.  He mus be wishing for the day when the police act as though they are in Cayman, and not 70s Russia.

  19. Anonymous says:
    I might add that Judge Henderson’s case was completely different to this incident. The issue at hand with Henderson’s case was that whatever he was arrested for is not an arrestable offence, and therefore the arrest was unlawful.
     
    Police obstruction is an arrestable offence, and the discretion to charge in the Cayman Islands lies with the arresting officer and / or the Prosecutions Department, which is another reason why the reporter may not have been charged. Having been arrested and processed it is normal for a suspect to be released having been bailed to return to the station at a later date to find out if he will be charged, and what for. The ‘facts’ pertaining to the case have to be sent to Prosecutions during this period of ‘bail,’ and Prosecutions decide if there is sufficient evidence to charge, and then instruct the arresting officer accordingly, who will act on these instructions when the suspect returns to the station on bail.
    • Anonymous says:

      I might add that Mr. Henderson case was not exactly  no    BUT  my point is this, contrary to what the other writer wrote, I am sayin it becomes a False Arrest  if  there is NO GROUNDS to charge and the Arrest has been made  LIKE  Judge Henderson Case.

      I also think that Mr. Bridger and The SPIT needs to be  Kicked out now as they are only sucking up more four million dollars salaries for nothing. And HE Stuart Jack needs to go back to wherever he came from.

      They are just driving the Cayman Islands into more Unnecessary Expenditures mucking up everything and getting FREE MONEY  Get um OUT NOW.

       

  20. Anonymous says:

    If a person obstructs a police officer in the course of their duty, they can be arrested. A reported failing to heed what would appear from the report to be numerous warnings from police to stay behind the police line, and then (according to the report) subsequently crossing the line and entering the crime scene, could be construed as police obstruction. The line is there for a good reason, to preserve evidence, I’m sure if the police let everyone inside the police line most of the Cayman community would be complaining about this also. It is the usual case of ‘your dammed if you do, and your dammed if you don’t.’

    Just because you arrest someone it does not mean you have to charge them. There are numerous reasons why you may not charge the reporter in this case, it may not be in the interests of justice, it may not be in the public interest, it may be a tad controversial, maybe there is insufficient evidence, maybe arresting the reporter and taking him away from the scene (and therefore preventing the repetition of the offence) was sufficient, or maybe the reporter apologized to the officers concerned and this was enough to conclude the matter.

    The RCIP has had a rough last twelve months, mistakes have been made, and lessons learnt, but the Cayman community of ‘armchair critics’ slagging the department off in relation to matters which they have no knowledge, skills, or experience really does not help things.

     

  21. Anonymous says:

      I am not very impressed by RCIPS type of  work in this case.  

    Here is more evidence of RCIPS doing the "The wrong things" again at the wrong places.

        Let us understand that Kenneth Bryan was "Arrested" and here the Police has no grounds to charge the man, a similar case of Justice Alexander Henderson¨s Arrest.

    Quoting your  print and the evidence I have seen in relation to this case…

    "Although CITN refused to make an official comment regarding the incident, CNS has learned that the station is standing by Bryan, who was released without charge, and has raised concerns with the police as this is not the first time reporters have been prevented from doing their jobs at crime scenes by officers unaware of the procedures for covering and reporting incidents of crime for the television media."

    And was not Mr. Bryan "Arrested"?

     If  "Yes"  is the answer to this question, then it leads one to see a "False Arrest" made by the Police.  Which can now be looked at as another Law suit faced by the Government of the Cayman Islands, all for the Poor people of Cayman to have to payoff for.

    Do we really need this sort of Policing in our Cayman Islands… ?

     

  22. Anonymous says:

    How Ironic!

    This incident happens the same week ther freedom of information law came into effect!!

     

    • Anonymous says:

      The police needs to get their act together.  There’s nothing wrong with having a reporter on the scene.