Officer: 'Bryan was protecting me'

A female police officer told a court Wednesday that Kenneth Bryan, who has pleaded not guilty to charges of disorderly conduct and assaulting police, was protecting her from her ex-boyfriend prior to his arrest.

Officer Karen McQuade, the fifth and last witness to give evidence in Bryan’s trial Wednesday, told Magistrate Philippa McFarlane she did not see interaction between Bryan and police on the night of the incident outside Dream Night Club on Oct. 11, 2014.

Instead, she told of an incident that occurred earlier that night when Bryan tried to stop her ex-boyfriend from attacking her.

The Crown’s case is that Bryan’s alleged offenses are separate and distinct from this incident. Officers gave evidence that two men – identified as Jermaine and TC – had been fighting. Bryan became involved, asking why his cousin TC was being arrested and using profane language that led to the disorderly conduct charge.

The assault charge is based on the arresting officer’s evidence that Bryan got in the officer’s personal space and stuck a finger in his face.

At the time of his arrest, Bryan worked as political assistant to Premier Alden McLaughlin. He was also a candidate in the 2013 general elections.

Officer McQuade told the court she was at the club that night and that her ex-partner physically assaulted her, was verbally abusive and made several physical threats.

She said she encountered Bryan outside the club. When her ex-partner pulled her to one side, she got away from him, approached Bryan and got into his car. She was with Bryan for seven to 10 minutes and he was trying to stop her ex-partner from attacking her, she said.

She referred to her ex-partner as Jeremy, while witnesses to the second incident referred to him as Jermaine.

She said TC then came to assist Bryan. When she left, Bryan was involved in a scuffle. Questioned by defense attorney Karin Thompson, she said, “I don’t know why Kenny was arrested. I wasn’t there, but Jeremy was trying to assault me and Kenny was protecting me.”

Asked by Ms. Thompson if she had seen an email between the Office of the Premier and the Office of the Commissioner of Police about the incident, Ms. McQuade replied “No.”

She said she had written an email to an attorney concerning what had happened; the attorney had forwarded her email to Bryan. That email was leaked to the press with her name and Jeremy’s name deleted. She said neither she nor her attorney leaked the email and she did not know who did.

Ms. Thompson asked about a second email between the Office of the Premier and the police commissioner, in which the commissioner was notified by the premier or premier’s office that one of his officers had been assaulted and Bryan had to intervene. Ms. McQuade said she had not seen such an email.

She said she had been made aware of the communication and told Bryan. She did not remember who made her aware of it. “I don’t think it was a secret,” she added.

Ms. Thompson asked what the interaction was now between Bryan and Ms. McQuade.

“We haven’t spoken in a while, but we are friends for three years,” she replied. “I was instructed not to have further contact with him while this is going on, but overall Kenny and I were friends.”

Asked her attitude about the incident, Ms. McQuade said, “I would say Kenneth Bryan did his very best to assist another human being – regardless of who, whether we were friends or not. He did the right thing.”

The trial is set to continue on Nov. 11.

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