Cops leave behind forensic evidence at gun shot scene

| 19/01/2010

Cayman Islands News, Grand Cayman local news, Royal Cayman Islands Police Service(CNS): West Bayers reported their surprise on Monday when police left behind bullet fragments after examining a number of gun shot scenes following the four separate shooting incidents last Thursday 14 January.  News 27 spoke to residents near to where the shootings occurred who said they were concerned that police had left behind what was obviously evidence of a crime. One resident who narrowly escaped the shooting on Thursday night said she was unhappy with how the scene was handled. Having been alerted to the remaining bullet casings by the TV crews, Police said they would conduct a review.

Police have now returned to the scene and removed bullet fragments from a CUC metre. Detective Superintendent Marlon Bodden apologised for the delay but said police had to get electrical experts to the scene before they could take the bullets out. However, they offered no explanation for why the ones on the ground were not taken away and bagged into evidence.

Given the recent court room revelations concerning problems regarding the collection and integrity of evidence, police leadership has spoken of the need to improve evidence gathering and crime scene integrity.

Police have said very little about the latest shooting incident, in which no one was injured, but the resident of one of the homes shot at told News 27 that a relative of hers was recently injured in another shooting incident and wondered if the family had been targeted.

“We always keep an open mind but the circumstances are part of operational matters, which I am not prepared to discuss at this time,” Bodden told News 27.

The revelations about the failure to collect all of the possible evidence comes literally days after Attorney General Samuel Bulgin emphasised the vital importance of forensic evidence in the absence of eye witnesses willing to come forward. He called on government to invest in facilities that would enable Cayman to examine all of its own forensics and cut out the need to send items such as bullet fragments over seas for examination.

See News 27 exclusive report

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Comments (34)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Sorry Marlon,   Surely you could have found a better exsuse.   I was the one who contacted the CUC employee who was at that scene within ten minutes.  He had that meter secured long before the Police arrived. Sgt. Franklin himself can verify this.  He was furious, so was everyone else at the location. 

    By the way,  I was also the one who called Sgt. Franklin to the scene knowing his expertise with firearms.  It was he who angrily alerted Peter Kennett.

    Have no fear by the way,  that scene was protected until the detectives arrived.   This is painful enough.  Please Marlon,  IT IS TIME TO STOP MAKING EXCUSES FOR THE RCIP.   CITN  has the whole scenario on tape. Check with them please.

  2. Anonymous says:

    "Because Cayman islands have never been into any form of higher education They still do not understand that to have any form of competence in a job first off the worker must be at least competent."

    unquote — Joe you’re really ‘bananas’ for sure, you chose the right name. Where are you living under a big rock?? Caymanians go to some of the best Universities in the world and have as high an education as anyone else in the world. Cayman did quite good before it became ‘overpopulated’.
    People like you who degrade us all the time would do better helping out your own land!!

  3. Caribbean Lawyer says:

    Mr. Premier Mckeeva Bush, I understand that the Cayman Islands  police force is facing an allegation from the public that it has a culture of systemic corruption. This is the most serious allegation that any police force can possibly face.  I also understand that your Police dept have the most cold case files, that has never been solved, and something seriously has to be done about this.  And while this discussion alone could be debated arduously, what we really need to be asking ourselves is: are we doing enough to prevent corruption?

    There has been debate among media commentators, academics, the legal fraternity and politicians about how this allegation should be dealt with. There have been calls for the establishment of a body such as a royal commission, an independent inquiry, or a crime commission similar to that which exists in other Countries. A Police Career Services Commission would help make the Cayman police force more transparent across operational, administrative and management levels.

    In this environment it is important that any decision be made not for political purposes, but rather with a view to ensuring the best result for the public the people of the Cayman Islands, and for the long-term interests of the police force. All parties must consider the objectives of any such inquiry or body, and keep in mind what we want to achieve from it.  Cayman needs an increase in resources for the police Ethical Standards Department and for the police Crime Department, so that both can continue their work in investigating corruption and serious crime.
     

    In the case of the Ethical Standards Department, such an increase in resources would allow it to be more active in educating police officers and encouraging professional development. A Police Career Services Commission would only improve our capacity to perform and to deliver what the community expects.

    We want an outcome that helps lock up crooks and keeps the force clean – and it is by no means certain that either a royal commission or a crime commission will deliver those results.  Mr. Premier something has to be done and done soon.   Your  people of the Caymans,has put their trust and commiment in your police dept yet!  They have continuosly let them all down from time to time.  The Police are there to protect and serve your people and the results are never good.  
     

  4. Reynaldo says:

     Can you just imagine our shameful and disgraceful ignorant Police with guns?  All hell will break loose then if they ever allow them to use guns.  It’s sad but it’s true.  

  5. catherine willows says:

    the members of the police force here should spend some time watching CSI if they’re not too busy chasing traffic offenders.  they don’t know how to solve horrific crimes so they focus on simpler tasks.  well done.

  6. Dean Robinson-Nelson says:

    And we are surprised BECAUSE?      WOW

  7. Westbayer says:

     My Westbayers I salute you for a job well done!  What a crying shame that the public themselves are better in knowing how to solve a crime than the Police?  The Police are not at all train professional and something has to be done and the time is now!  Mr. Mckeeva I hope that you are listening to the people because too many mistakes within the force is way far too many.   This is nothing but plain slackness and a lack of failure within the system.  

    This is also a waste of Cayman money going down the drain!  Can someone please tell me what are they being paid for?  It do not only look bad on the force, but also it looks bad on the Government itself who’s hiring these untrain young policemen who has nothing better to do with their time but give out traffic tickets to the people.  Mr. Mckeeva your Caymanian people has spoken and we hope you are going to do a clean up down there at the Police station.

     We need a whole house sweep up down there, and don’t ever forget to teach them morals because they are really lacking it also.  Especially the Police Women some of them really need their mouths wash out with soap!  Don’t worry y’all we know Mckeeva will get the job done for he surely make us Westbayers very proud.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Dubai has almost no street crime. Why? Almost all the cops are brought in from Iran, on a 6 month contact, then go back. Safest place I’ve visited. Never been to Singapore but hear their model is pretty good too. "Disney land with the death penalty" – beautiful for the law-abiding and hell for those whio are not.

  9. anonymous says:

    Seriously, in fairness what will a molten bullet fragment tell our officers?  Even if there were a lab, it’s not like there is any ballistics info/finger print sample/serial number on that pellet he’s pointing at. 

    The casings have value if the firing pin indentations matched those collected from other crimes.  If the police get lucky, they might also lift a good fingerprint from the casing – assuming the kids on the street haven’t picked it up and passed it around already.  If they have, then forget it.

    At the end of the day we need Police to respond while the scene is fresh, ie. within minutes instead of within the hour (sometimes next day), and neighbours and relatives need to come forward and testify. 

    • Anonymous says:

      I am still waiting on the Police to come and investigate a crime I reported over a year ago. Dont hold your breath waiting on a response from the RCIPS.

  10. Anonymous says:

     What we need to do with the Cayman police force is to send them to college to get more knowledge in Criminal Justice because they are all SERIOUSLY lacking experience in this field.  WE need more well educated and qualified police Officers even if it means hiring them from overseas etc U.S.A 

     

  11. Anonymous says:

     "SHAME AND DISGRACE TO THE RCIP"   How long shall this kind of nonsense go on in the force?   Only God knows that we have the most ignorant Police Dept throughout the Caribbean.   Instead of taking ten steps frwd they are taking 100 steps backwards!  SHAME DAMN SHAME

  12. Anonymous says:

    Fire anybody involved in this and every investigation in which they can not make a conviction because of lack of, missing, tampered or otherwise "inadequate" collection of evidence.  It would be the same in any other industry for individuals so unqualified and inept!  Who are we kidding…all the blogs in the world couldn’t and won’t make a change.  SAD STATE OF AFFAIRS!

  13. Anonymous says:

    I don’t see why anyone is surprised at this.  After reading about previous cases where the crime scene officer admitted seeing a print but not taking a photo, seeing other evidence and not taking swabs and the list goes on I am not the least bit shocked.  The question is why do we need a forensic lab when we leave half the evidence behind?  It truly amazes me that with all the crime happening we can’t even hear about one conviction.  The police force in Cayman has turned into a big joke, half is corrupted and the other half don’t care.

     

  14. Anonymous says:

    What an absolute embarrassment for the RCIPS detectives who are suppose to be trained in Crime Scene Management, to make such a major screw up.

    I do not buy the "BS" from Marlon that they were awaiting "electrical experts" before removing the projectile from the electrical meter.

    If that was in fact the case, then why was the crime scene tape removed and the crime scene released ?? Secondly, how slack can it be to miss the spent cartridges/casings that were left behind as well. 

    Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s called "Absolute Incompetence" with a Capital "A" and an " I "    

  15. P Davis says:

    Guys all the the good cops have left Cayman, when you get what you want it turns to this. Crime these days is a well paying job, you will not likely get caught doing anything illegal and anyone thats in a special group of top end people running drugs in Cayman are untouchable (or so they think). You would be very surprised who is involved in this profitable business.

     

  16. mousey says:

    Well Well The new word is "Keeping a open mind" gone are the days of "Strategic Overviews" These megalomaniacs who have destroyed the DTF & RCIPS have surely fallen on some serious bad luck & hard times recently, and their efforts and assistance in the recent corruption investigation has not bore fuit and did not strengthen their little positions either aaaaaah da byes and their foreign hooligans. They have got their promotions though in exchange and at the expense or loss of some very good and honest officers. What a surprise that those who talk behind the "whiteman’s back" same to be doing quite well eh! We are truly in a shameful state of affairs Cayman.

  17. Anonymous says:

    The police is a joke, the government is a BIGGER joke. ahh boy, cayman is in trrrrrooooouble!!  Never really wanted to admit that before, but sometimes you have to wake up and smell the gunpowder and BS!!

  18. Joe Bananas says:

    Because Cayman islands have never been into any form of higher education They still do not understand that to have any form of competence in a job first off the worker must be at least competent.  The people of Cayman have culturally been brought up to expect that things locally will always take a lot of time to get done and will be done only up to the islands standards.  Now you have TV in every house and a need to deal with the modern world.  Caymans biggest fight is now the balance between having a local do it Cayman way and having a expat do it up to modern standards.  Look at all the things not done in a timely manner or not done at all.  Government Financial records for the last 5 years, The 2 new schools, fixing the dump (remember matrix?), and on and on and added to every day.  Caymans ONLY success story is its banking and financial community which is now being chased away by Cayman trying to force a cayman work force on it.  How to get things done right and have a Caymanian get payed to do it?  That is the million dollar question.  Caymanians have to understand that to employ the island population means that they must go back to things taking longer and jobs being done at a standard lower than they see on TV and everything associated with that. 

    Putting a proffessional in charge of a island style work force just gives you someone else to blame.  The only real fix is EDUCATION.  At home and in schools.  The only way a Caymanian can get that is to go off island so it is not a fix at all.  As more jobs are taken over by Caymanians and more expat labor leaves island the population will have to get used to going back to island style, soon come,not going to get done in your lifetime lifestyle once again.  OR?

     

    • Westbayer says:

       You know something what you are really saying don’t make no sense at all.  When last did you study the outstanding polls with the top list of Schools worldwide?  If you did then you will see that the British Schools which includes the Cayman Islands Schools(that’s right we are British)  are the number one Schools worldwide with the smartest students in the whole world.  So don’t tell us that we need to fix our education system instead go back to your Country and check to see if yours is on the bottom list.  Caymanians are smart well educated people thank you, and this has nothing to do with the real issue here.  

      They are more expats in the force than Caymanians so don’t even go there.  For I feel that’s one of our real problems here now, for they are the ones that is lacking morals, rarely u ever find a Caymanian officer disrespecting the people.  Now getting to the real issue is the lack of training that these officers have.  The way I feel is that they should not let no one in the force without a Criminal Justice degree!  Or a Criminal background check on these officers.  This will help the Police alot better with how to do forensic evidence properly….finger-printing….also communication… so they can be better prepare to do a proper job when it comes to getting the real evidence intact.

       Mr. Mckeeva will surely straighten them out for we know he comes on CNS and read these forums trust me.  Westbayers will never vote him out for he makes us proud.

  19. Anonymous says:

    need more educated , trained, motivated officers from overseas….

    • Anonymous says:

      reply to Wed 20/8:47  – Our island is full of them now – why do we need more – to carry another big sum of money?? Forgot TEMPURA, GIBBS etc. etc.  so soon?? Those that are here now need to do their jobs properly!! Cayman has too many work permit holders for such  small islands!!

  20. Anonymous says:

    I regret that I should even think of this much less write it in a blog, but the more I see coming from the RCIPS the more I am inclined to believe that perhaps, just perhaps some of the crime being committed is being committed by some members of the RCIPS.

    It seems so strange that so many criminal acts are being committed and not a single one is being apprehended for them, and as soon as something happens the Police first reaction is to plead for the Public to come forward and solve these crimes while they walk away and leave the evidence laying on the ground.

    I regret this is something that I have come to believe and this is not likely to change until I see a drastic change in the solving of crime.

    Maybe the cell phones of all Police officers should be taken away, in which case they could pay more attention to criminal activity rather than sitting behind desks at the station chatting to theirhomelands all day long at the publics expense..

  21. Anonymous says:

    THE TRUTH!!!!!

    Now I understand Why the police only focus on drunk drivers. It Seems these are the only criminals they can apprehend and charge with a crime. May God Help us, It seems as if We the public are our own protection and crime solvers.

     The police force should remove the labels on their cars " TO PROTECT & SERVE "

  22. Anonymous says:

    Yeah Cayman lover  i can gladly inform you that you are in the minority….

  23. Anonymous says:

    WELL! WELL! WELL!!!!.

    Just another demonstration of the competence of our Police force and the resultant laziness because the Public is supposed to do the Police work for them.

    This is nothing short of disgraceful and just goes to show why the Public has no confidence in the RCIPS.

    All Officers who failed to collect this evidence should be immediately fired from the force on the grounds of utter incompetence.

    Just goes to show that the RCIPS officers just dont care about anything but their paychecks.

  24. Anonymous says:

    "West Bayers reported their surprise…." What surprise?This is indicative of the usual ineptness displayed by RCIPS in investigations and fighting crime in general. Hence our current situation. Of course they will continue excuse themselves, just as they did after treatening a missing person who was later discovered murdered; just as they do every time they foul up. Keystone Cops? They would be honoured to be bestowed with such a comparison, at least the KC’s were funny! Most of these are just a sad excuse for real police.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Honestly how inept is the Police Department?

  26. macancheez says:

    And of course, the integrity of the evidence and crime scene is now compromised.  Any judge doing his/her job would have to find the defendant, should there ever be one, innocent, given that the evidence could have easily been tampered with…

  27. macancheez says:

    The police are clueless…at best.  Make sure when you present eye witness evidence to a major crime, that they do not write your name, telephone number, address, etc. down – they may just leave that "behind" as well.  Pathetic.

  28. John Evans says:

    As I posted a few days ago –

    "However, the downside is that when you get the crime lab it’s not going to be much use if, as seems to have happened at almost every major incident in recent years, the RCIPS fail to properly secure crime scenes and preserve evidence."

    If I could make that observation from nearly 5000 miles  away (and nearly 18 months since I left GC) what the heck is Commissioner Baines doing to earn his salary?

    I can remember after the Marlon Brando Ebanks shooting in August 2007 the crime scene was trampled by police and rubber-neckers to the point where any usable evidence was destroyed, yet over two years later the RCIPS crime scene protocols are no better?

  29. Anonymous says:

    This story made me very angry. I am know hard working conscientious and competent officers in the RCIPS but clearly not all demonstrate such competence and professionalism. Clearly the requirement to collect all relevant evidence, even if you have to bend over to pick it up, is not understood by some.

    I would like to thank those individuals who brought the failure to collect evidence to the attention of the media and I would like to thank those in the media who came out to investigate and report this situation. Hopefully the publication of the poor job which was done in this case will prompt the Commissioner to somehow ensure that better practice is followed in the future. This is not the first time that there has been poor handling of evidence. Perhaps those who cannot understand how to collect and handle evidence or can not follow protocols should be re-assigned or otherwise disciplined.

    I am hoping that this type of failure never happens again. Every incident like this makes the criminals more bold. If failures of this type keep happening after this it will be clear to all – hopefully even the new Governor – that there is a failure of leadership in the police force. 

    Thank you CITN and CNS for reporting this.  

  30. CaymanLover says:

    I really respect and admire Marlon Bodden.  He tries his best to do a good job, its a shame he is surrounded by blithering idiots.  After watching a good CSI or Law and Order even I wouldnt leave the scene without collecting all the evidence (especially something as important as a bullet fragment left on the street).  Is it the people who are crap or is it a lack of equipment or what?  Really embarrassing.

    • Anonymous says:

      The moral is so low and they have been beaten down to a pulp with all these exensive tempuras this and tempura operation that. They have no fire left in them the fire has gone out of them and they are not to blame.

      These matters should have been handled behind closed doors in the internal Affairs department. If and when there was no resolution found to any of the allege accusations, then and only then, should the public become aware of what is happening in the police force.  They have washed the Police dirty linen that most of them didn’t even wear, their clean linen was dipped in mud and fingers pointed at the innocent.  Its time all these stupid investigations cease and lets get on with protecting the communities.The investigations have no end its like quick sand. Pay the police officers off their millions for damaging their character and get the police trained giving them a new start in their CIP careers. This is idiotic to continue on with this nonsense.

      It is clear that we do not have the local nor imported highly trained, or  experienced police coming here from the UK, these are just titles with no real performance. If there were, then how is it that they can’t solve these  crimes on a lower scale having come from the big UK where they have been challenged and should be savvy in their operations. We do not want any more of our monies wasted on importing incompetent police from the UK. It would serve you better if you hired the Brown and Beige Miami Metro Police Force Officers just 2 of them alone would clean up crime in a few hours. Those guys do not play with criminals when they arrive on the scene its to kick ass that need to be kicked , cuff those that need to be cuffed, and kill those that need to be killed, and terorizing the community.  The crime scene is then Secured or fenced off with Police ‘YELLOW TAP" that is ‘GUARDED"  for as long as necessary for investigating officers to gather every piece of forensic evidence needed, regardless of how long it takes. No body’s going home to dinner or sit drinking at Capt Brians or the police canteen drinking Heinekins or Red Stripes  until the job is complete. These are professionals, We have none in CI but former  other than former Chief  Inspecter Haines and His team. We are paying a high price for ignorance and the loss of these good officers regardless of how much he urges the public to get behind the comissioner and his  staff, if the professionalism is not demonstrated how can we get behind them. We can not be expected to  are get behind somthing that is neither competent, serving nor safe.

      WHAT THE HELL DOES THE AG NEED A FORENSIC LAB FOR?  TO WASTE MORE OF OUR MONEY ON INCOMPETENT OR UNTRAINED OFFICRS WASTING OUR TIME? hell no!