Royal Cayman Islands Police Service officials said Wednesday that they were unable to find any record of Premier Alden McLaughlin’s former political assistant being arrested a second time between 2013 and 2016.
“We have researched our records and we have not been able to find any other arrest of Mr. [Kenneth] Bryan other than the one in 2014,” Chief Inspector Patrick Beersingh said in a statement sent to the Cayman Compass.
Mr. Bryan is running as an independent candidate in George Town Central. He fell out with the Progressives party leadership, including Premier McLaughlin, after he was fired from the position he held with the premier’s office in early 2015. Mr. Bryan was later found to have committed the offenses of assaulting police and disorderly conduct following a trial in relation to an incident that occurred outside a George Town nightclub in October 2014, but he had no conviction recorded against him.
During a political meeting last Saturday, Premier McLaughlin alleged Mr. Bryan had been arrested before October 2014 for a similar offense of “obstructing police.” Mr. McLaughlin said he was informed about the “second arrest” by former Police Commissioner David Baines following Mr. Bryan’s arrest in October 2014.
When contacted about the premier’s claims, made during a Progressives party political event on Saturday, April 29, Mr. Bryan flatly denied the other arrest referred to by the premier ever happened.
He said the police statement Wednesday left him “saddened.”
“It saddens me that the premier is willing to lie to the country for political benefit,” Mr. Bryan said. “It also saddens me that Minister Marco Archer [Mr. Bryan’s opponent in George Town Central] supports a man that is willing to lie to the country to try to undermine their opponents.”
When contacted Thursday about the RCIPS statement regarding his claims, Premier McLaughlin indicated police stating they could not find any other arrest during Mr. Bryan’s tenure with his office was “very different” from stating there was no second arrest at all.
“Because there was, without a doubt,” Mr. McLaughlin said.
Mr. Bryan has been the focus of a number of political attacks during recent Progressives meetings, particularly by the premier. However, the allegations about the second arrest were made only during the April 29 meeting.
“It’s a strategy by the Progressives to try to derail me,” Mr. Bryan said. “This is a man [referring to Premier McLaughlin] who said he didn’t want to run in the area I’m running in because he would have got a nasty campaign. Every single meeting he’s had, he’s mentioned my name. I don’t want to be distracted, I want to talk about the solutions for the people of the Cayman Islands.”