UK cop insults local police

| 30/09/2009

(CNS): One of the Crown’s key witnesses in the case against Rudolph Dixon revealed his low opinion of his former fellow Caymanian officers and the senior command of the RCIPS in court on Tuesday as he faced cross examination from the defence on his evidence. Reading from transcripts compiled by Operation Tempura, Dixon’s defence counsel, Jonathan Rose, told the court how Graham Summers (left) had said his Caymanian colleagues were “utterly useless” and that former police commissioner, Buel Braggs, "couldn’t string a sentence together.” (Photo courtesy of Cayman 27)

During his questioning of the Crown’s main witness, Rose suggested that it was because of this attitude and his dismissal of senior officers that he had failed to listen and understand the reasons why a decision had been made that evening in April 2004 to allow Rudolph Evans, the former deputy commissioner, to go free following his arrest as a result of Summers actions .

Following Summers’ accusations that Dixon had let Evans go and made the case go away because of his previous position, Rose pressed the UK cop on his overall opinion on the RCIPS, its senior, command, the officers he worked with and his time in the Cayman Islands.

It became apparent that Summers believed the Caymanian officers he had worked with were not particularly hard working, were not career oriented and that the systems in the Cayman Islands were outdated and backward. In interviews with the Tempura officers, which he did not believe would ever be produced in open court, he revealed his feelings about the RCIPS and told them that the senior officers were not so much senior as superior and went around shouting orders. He told the Special Police investigation Team (SPIT) from Operation Tempura that he thought the senior cops in Cayman were childish and had a “status complex” because they displayed certificates they had been awarded on their walls and bragged about the courses they had been on. He also said he believed that police forces in the UK were more professional than the RCIPS.

Despite the evidence of his derision for the local officers, Summers denied that he had not listened to Dixon on the night of the DUI in April 2004 and claimed he did respect authority. However, he admitted that he had been disrespectful to Dixon on the phone when the deputy commissioner called him to explain why Evans had been released, and said that he had been “shirty” with Dixon.

Summers insisted that, although they had talked for more than nine and a half minutes, all Dixon had told him was that Evans had been released because of a past stated case which was not explained. Rose, however, suggested that the witness may simply not have wanted to listen to what Dixon was saying because of his attitude and the belief he already held about the senior command in the RCIPS.  

“I suggest that call was very one sided because you weren’t prepared to listen,” Rose said, adding that as Summers was angry and distressed he was not prepared to accept the explanation from the deputy commissioner. Rose suggested that Summers had no respect for his senior officer, which was why he didn’t hear what Dixon was saying to him.

In the afternoon the Crown called its second witness, Alvan Boxwell, the local officer from the traffic unit who actually arrested Evans on the night in question on suspicion of DUI, and he told the court that the situation was very uncomfortable. He said that when he arrived at the scene and saw it was the former deputy commissioner, Rudolph Evans, that Summers had called them about, he was worried. He noted that there was a well-known rumour in the RCIPS that an officer should not arrest a fellow or former police officer otherwise you could expect to be targeted.

Boxwell told the court of his relief when he heard that the case would go no further. Boxwell admitted to have a poor recollection of all the events and he said that when he was first interviewed by the Operation Tempura team he was in total shock and couldn’t remember anything.

Going through his recollection of the evening of the arrest, however, Boxwell contradicted the testimony given by Summers on Monday to the court and insisted that he had made the decision to arrest Evans himself, despite feeling uncomfortable. He denied that he had only arrested Evans because Summers had vigorously insisted, as Summers had stated in his evidence on Monday.

Boxwell confirmed that it was common practice for police officers to have to satisfy in their own minds that an arrest was justified and that no officer should make an arrest if they themselves were not comfortable with the situation.

Boxwell admitted throughout his testimony that he felt uncomfortable and said that, on arrival at George Town Police Station, he had pulled aside Inspector Burman Scott, who was acting as the station duty officer that evening, and told him that he was uncomfortable about having arrested a former senior police officer. However, the police officer told defence counsel that he did not recall also telling Dixon that he was uncomfortable about the situation, just that he had arrested Evans and why.

The trial, which is being presided over by Justice Charles Quinn and is expect to last for up to two weeks, continues with Crown witnesses tomorrow morning at 10:00am.

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