Commissioner cleared over injuring suspect

Police Commissioner David Baines will not face charges over his dramatic intervention in a New Year’s Day diamond heist in George Town

Cayman’s top cop had been under investigation since he chased down three masked robbers in his SUV following an armed raid on a downtown jewelry store.

One of the alleged robbers was injured after he “slipped beneath” Mr. Baines’s car during the chase. He has subsequently appeared in court in a wheelchair.

The commissioner was off-duty en-route to meet friends at the cruise terminal when he saw the robbery in progress at Diamonds International.

He pursued the men as they attempted to flee on foot in the direction of the Legislative Assembly, pinning two of them against a fence with his vehicle, injuring the third man in the process.

He was widely hailed as a hero for foiling the $1 million raid but a police investigation was ordered to determine if the “use of force” was justified.

RCIPS investigation

The investigation was conducted by Royal Cayman Islands Police Service officers, who are under Mr. Baines command.

A report was prepared by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, which notified police on Thursday that “no criminal conduct was revealed or disciplinary actions warranted.”

Police said in a statement that Governor Helen Kilpatrick had reviewed the report from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

“She has indicated that she now considers the matter in relation to the Commissioner closed,” the statement said.

Mr. Baines said he appreciated that the matter had been resolved and was “grateful for the support received from so many people.”

He said he was unable to comment in detail until court proceedings were concluded.

He added, “I can say a very public thank you to all those people who came to my aid on that morning. I have never been more grateful than seeing the members of the public running in to provide support and help in the detaining and arresting of those responsible.

“They were fantastic and have my complete admiration; they know who they are and have a right to be very proud of what they did.”

Three men – James McLean, Christopher Myles and Jonathan Ramoon – have been charged with the robbery. Ramoon, the man said to have been injured during the chase, was still in a wheelchair when the trio appeared in court last week.

Speaking to the Compass in January, Mr. Baines welcomed an investigation into his actions. He said, “The use of force by any police officer has to be necessary, justified and proportionate, whatever the context and circumstances.”

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4 COMMENTS

  1. While I agree with the decision of the DPP that Police Commissioner David Baines should not face any charges, it was not correct to have this investigation conducted by Royal Cayman Islands Police Service officers, who are under Mr. Baines command.
    This incident speaks to the need for a civilian oversight body that can conduct these types of investigations as needed.

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  2. Off duty and on his way to a meeting and ends up in the middle of a million dollar heist. And catches the 3 perps who were lack of a better phrase red Handed. In the states these men might have been shot, beaten,injuries would have been much more severe, we allow our police to carry firearms. These men should consider themselves lucky. All he had was his car to subdue and capture. I say Hats off to the top Cop for his actions and no innocents injured.

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  3. Good for him, police should be allowed to use whatever force is needed to stop criminals in their tracks. Hopefully other officers under him will take an example from this. I am quite sure that the officers who would get involved when off duty are few and far in between. Some even when they are on duty do nothing to fight crime.

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  4. Mr Boland – two points:
    a) The Director of Public Prosecutions review not only the evidence presented but can order further enquiries to be made to satisfy themselves that they have all the relevant information on which to base their decision. This is ‘civilian oversight’ and the involvement of the Governor is for decisions to be made regarding police discipline matters that fall short of criminal matters
    b) Who else has the capacity – either the resources or, importantly, the expertise to ‘investigate’?
    Perhaps you would invite officers from another jurisdiction in to carry out the investigation? We could even call it Operation Tempura 2…

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