By Shermain Bique-Charles
Grieving relatives of a Dominican man who died in police custody in the nature isle are staging a protest this weekend – and adding the name Bruce Greenaway in their call for justice.
Kerwin “Slobby” Prosper, 36, died on February 15 2021 amid scaled-down carnival festivities in Dominica whilst assisting lawmen with an ongoing investigation.
“We will be protesting but it will be more like a vigil since we are celebrating Easter. We have requested information surrounding my brother’s death and nothing is forthcoming.
“Over 40 days and no release of the autopsy. This is strange and unfair,” his brother Devon Joseph told Observer.
He said placards and voices will also be raised for Antiguan Bruce Greenaway, who died in April 2020 allegedly also at the hands of lawmen, as a symbol of solidarity with Greenaway’s family.
“I feel like his life was stolen from him. He could do much more with his life. I thought this matter would have stopped with George Floyd [killed in the US in May 2020].
“No one should have died this way. I read about the Greenaway story and, until it actually hit home, I didn’t understand how that family felt until now. It is horrifying and heart-wrenching,” he said.
“It is time we stand up against matters like that. The waters may divide us but we are one people, one blood…we deserve justice for our loved ones. This is not a Dominica Antigua matter. It is a Caribbean matter. I hope other nations will speak out about these injustices,” Joseph added.
Greenaway, 43, was reportedly last seen in the presence of lawmen, days before his lifeless body was found near Indian Creek on April 13 last year. An autopsy subsequently concluded that his death was caused by strangulation.
The four individuals accused of murder are Antigua and Barbuda Defence Force officers Aliyah Martin, Armal Warner and Shakiel Thomas, along with police officer Jason Modeste.
In Prosper’s case however, he was arrested on February 13 2021, by officers of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in connection with several reports.
According to police, searches were conducted at the various locations where Prosper was known to be residing and a number of electronic items, clothing and an unspecified sum of money of interest to the police were recovered during the course of the investigations.
The Police Chief reported that sometime in the morning of February 15, Prosper complained of feeling unwell. He was taken to hospital where he was examined and released back into police custody.
He then became unresponsive and was again taken by ambulance to hospital where he was pronounced dead.
His brother claimed that Prosper had been in perfect health and had no underlying medical conditions known to them.
“He has never been hospitalised for any sickness and illness. Knowing he died in police custody, I need answers,” an emotional Joseph said.
The dead man’s family have since written two letters to the Chief of Police in Dominica, copied to the Attorney General and the acting Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), requesting certain information surrounding Prosper’s death be released, including pertinent police records.
Two weeks ago, acting Chief of Police in Dominica, Lincoln Corbette, announced that three investigators from Caricom’s Regional Investigative Management System (RIMS) had arrived in the country to investigate the death.