Two officers accused of excessive force with taser

Two police constables appeared in Summary Court on Wednesday charged with common assault after an incident allegedly involving use of a taser.

Austin Etienne, 44, and Cardiff Ainsworth Robinson, 29, are charged with unlawfully assaulting a named man at John McLean Drive, East End, on May 3, 2014.

The men have appeared in court twice, but on this occasion Crown counsel Scott Wainwright went into some detail about the charge. He did so because attorney Natasha Bodden, speaking on behalf of Etienne, said she had not received all of the disclosure she requested. She told Magistrate Grace Donalds that the information she wanted was relevant to the defense, but it had not been sent to her.

Mr. Wainwright said he had been advised that some of the information requested was not disclosable.

He explained the allegation – that two officers acting in the execution of their duty used excessive force by using a taser on a person in custody.

One item of information sought by the defense is the training log of all officers trained in taser use, Mr. Wainwright said. He added that 17 matters had been requested for disclosure. Some of the material requested was sensitive and he understood that everything that was going to be disclosed had been.

Ms. Bodden pointed out that some of the material she requested did not even belong to the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service; it belonged to international organizations.

Attorney Dennis Brady, who represents Robinson, said he did not think it was up to the Crown to say what is relevant to the defense, and there would have to be legal arguments on the question.

“We say what has been disclosed is inadequate for our clients’ defense.”

The magistrate set the matter for mention again on May 27.