Barbados Murder Investigation Points to a Police Cover-up – CGID

Submitted by Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID)

Dead: Clinton Norton

New York’s Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID) Monday accused the Barbados Police Force of covering up the apparent murder of Clinton Norton, a born Barbadian of Guyanese and Barbadian parentage. Norton died under suspicious circumstances in Bridgetown, Barbados on September 3, 2012.

The institute’s President Rickford Burke last week wrote Barbadian Prime Minister Freundel Stuart asking for  an independent and fair review of the Police investigation of Norton’s death “so as to ensure justice for the family.”

Burke Monday said Barbados Police has misled the public about the facts of the case and therefore his organization felt constrained to release further information to support its contention of a possible Police cover-up. CGID, which has made human rights a corner-stone of its mission, simultaneously released several photographs of Norton’s battered body which bore marks of violence; including what appear to be burns, lacerations and bruises. It said the photographs establish that he was either beaten or tortured to death as the wounds could not have been self-inflected.

The following links lead to gruesome pictures of Clinton Norton’s badly mutilated dead body. Reader discretion is advised:

The cause of death as declared by Barbados government pathologist, Dr. Corinthia Dupuis, is registered as “indeterminate.”  Independent pathologist Dr. Michael Brown, who witnessed the autopsy on September 11, 2012, revealed that there was blood in Norton’s lungs and sand in his nostrils and mouth. Burke argued that these findings invalidate the Police’s theory that Norton cut himself while attempting to commit burglary and bled to death.

Norton’s body was found inside a Liquidation Center on September 3rd.  Workers there said they saw blood on the floor and called Police who responded to take a report and left. After Police left they stumbled on the body in a pile of rubble.   Police claimed that Norton, who had a prior run-in with them, broke into the building, cut himself in the process and bled to death. But a coroner, Magistrate Manila Renee, has ordered an inquest into this suspicious death.

Neighbors said Norton was last seen with Police officers, including a detective working on his death investigation, hours before he turned up dead.  Burke blasted the investigation as “surreptitious” and said Prima facie evidence suggests a potential homicide staged as a burglary. “The government of Barbados needs to determine if this is a case of Jack-the-ripper investigating Charles Manson for murder.  Serious questions arise when witnesses allege that an investigator in a potential murder investigation was last seen with the deceased. This is why we are demanding answers from the Barbados Police Force, the CGID head noted.”

Barbados authorities have not yet set a date for an inquest and relatives fear Norton’s death will be swept under the rug. Burke however said he is optimistic justice will ultimately be achieved as his group will continue to press Barbadian authorities. He also asserted that failure to ensure justice could compound the notorious perception in the region that Barbados law enforcement is allowed to violate the rights of certain persons with impunity.

“It is incumbent on the government and good people of Barbados in ensure that justice is done in this case. The publication of these kinds of stories around the region and world is injurious to the country’s image and tourism industry”, Burke posited.

Contact: Jevon Suralie, Director of Communications
Tel: 347-403-9092

0 responses to “Barbados Murder Investigation Points to a Police Cover-up – CGID

  1. This is the type of news story that all Barbados should pay full attention to.There are implications here not only for the image of the country,but also for those of us who time and again have recognized where justice for the poor can be as elusive as the right combination of numbers on a quick pick ticket.It is my prayer that this issue is treated to the fullest of ventilation,so that there may be a restoration of confidence in our system of justice.To read here that there is involvement of a detective in this investigation,who was a player in the initial case is troubling….very much so.

  2. Yea Fumble, call another Commission of Inquiry and promise to pay the boys this time up front … It would be just for academic reasons though as no lawyer in his right mind would take you at your word given your recent history …!

  3. @Hamilton

    Why should Barbadians regard this story as important anyway, it is the silly season and this is what matters.

  4. David are you in your right mind or are you being facetious

    HH has made a valuable point. Lets be real, there is no confidence in our justice system and it has been for quite some time.
    You know as well as I know that when it comes to law enforcement and people in high ranking positions there are a different set of rules for them.

  5. Carson C. Cadogan

    With regards to DAVID’S statement, sometimes when you dont know what to say you ought to say nothing.

  6. @Candid

    Yes it was a tongue in cheek remark.

  7. Colonel Buggy

    First it was the Shanique Myrie case, then the girl who was allegedly raped by policemen while in detention, followed by a second Jamaican girl who claimed she was treated badly by officials at the airport. Now we are hearing that this Liqudation Centre case is more in the mortar than the bullpistle.
    One would have thought that with a leader who is a prominent lawyer ,and an ex Attorney General ,that things of this nature would be a thing of the past, and if they do occur would be swiftly dealt with. We in the last few years have become the whipping boy of the Caribbean,and no one seem to be in a hurry to restore the good name of this country.

  8. @Colonel Buggy

    You are correct we have become the can which all are ‘pissin in’ at the moment. How do we turn it around? By being swift and decisive in how we deal with matters arising.

  9. David I will bet this story will be in the Caribbean free newspapers in major cities like Toronto.

    The Internet spreds news like wild fire.

    Clearly this case needs to be investigated.

  10. @Hants

    The author sent it to the BBC so be assured it will make the rounds.

  11. Rickford Burke

    David et al,
    What is worrisome to me is that officials of the government of Barbados, including the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister, as well as the leadership of the Barbados Police, are aware that serious questions have now been raised about the Police conduct in this investigation and an allegation that this death is possibly a homicide, and at no time have they publicly indicate a desire to ensure justice in this case. The government should be cautioned that ignoring this matter will be to the detriment of the image of the country because this issue will not go away until there is a satisfactory resolution

  12. Hamilton hill

    @ David….this story caught my attention all because of a similar one back in the late seventies.Instead of Guyanese this man was Trinidadian.If memory serves correctly he was from My Lords Hill.He too died in police custody.His family brought in that lawyer Anese Wills(not sure about the spelling,but he is the same lawyer from the Abdul Malick case).That man made the RBPF,the folk at the QEH and administration in Barbados in general look bad.Seems as though we have learned nothing,or we believe that everyone has forgotten.Knowing how we do things in Bim the latter is where I put my money.

  13. @ Rickford Burke….As much as it pains me to say this I really hope that you remain relentless in your quest to bring justice to the family of your fellowman.

  14. Over the years we have had many calls for several matters to be investigated by the police. In 2012 we continue to cry out. Why is it we don’t understand that that a necessary requirement of a democracy is to have transparency in how we do things and accountability.

  15. Rickford Burke

    @ Hamilton hill:

    Thank you for your concern and encouragement. Rest assured that we will be relentless. I promise. But bear in mind that this young man is not Guyanese. His father is. He is a born Barbadian. The nationality is not important to me though, and it shouldn’t be to anyone. Its the pursuit of justice that is paramount. Human dignity requires that the death of any citizen be thoroughly investigated. Lets have a fair investigation of what the police did, what they know and how they behaved. Then let the chips fall where they may. If Clinton Norton committed a crime then so be. If Police officers or someone else murdered him then they must be brought to justice to the fullest extent of the law. The pursuit of justice is a primary duty of a civilized society. Barbados Police cannot be exempt from this cardinal principal of the rule of law.

  16. Eventually someone will flip the script and ‘go off’, taking the law into their own hands, and then all hell will break loose.

  17. millertheanunnaki

    @David | October 23, 2012 at 7:46 PM |
    “The author sent it to the BBC so be assured it will make the rounds.”

    When this case is juxtaposed with the one involving the rape on the West Coast of the British lady and her subsequent well publicized alleged treatment in the British tabloids it would make for interesting reading and further “blackballing” of Bim in the tourist market as a growing ‘unsafe’ destination.

    Further degradation in our most lucrative visitor market is something we cannot afford.

    The numerous unfortunate incidents involving our interactions with visitors and other foreign connections have not only serious diplomatic implications but also leave one to wonder in an irrationally psychic way if there some curse over this once proud and well respected country.

  18. Does anyone understand that this is the whole point of installing leaders in an organization?…… To plan to avoid such situations, to prevent their occurrence, to investigate and take corrective actions when they do occur, and TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY in the end.

    Leaders ’bout here seem to think that they can pass on blame down the ranks, and concentrate on enjoying the perks of the job.

  19. If I started a party called the Guy Falkes Memorial Party I wonder if I would be able to attract a following ..

  20. We really need the Attorney General or Prime Minister to respond to this matter. Unfortunately since it has been posted it continues to be the most popular subject on BU.

  21. Rickford Burke

    I’m amazed that the government will allow this story to continue without an assurance that justice will be done. It sends a chilling message to citizens of hybrid Barbados as well as visitors and tourist, that in the unfortunate event that they are victims of crime or police abuse – even murder, such will be perpetrated with impunity and the current government wouldn’t give a dam or view their life as consequential ensure to either protect them or ensure justice. This is the message that all North Americans need to take away from their silence. And where is the media which is suppose to be the guardian of democracy and justice?

  22. Rickford Burke

    CORRECTION: I’m amazed that the government will allow this story to continue without an assurance that justice will be done. It sends a chilling message to citizens of Barbados as well as to visitors and tourist, that in the unfortunate event that they are victims of crime or police abuse – even murder, such will be perpetrated with impunity as the current government wouldn’t give a dam or view their life as consequential ensure to either protect them or ensure justice. This is the message that all North Americans need to take away from their silence. And where is the media which is suppose to be the guardian of democracy and justice?

  23. Bush Tea wrote “Leaders ’bout here seem to think that they can pass on blame down the ranks, and concentrate on enjoying the perks of the job.”

    Designating responsibility but enjoying the perks of the job is Bajan culcha.

  24. Wasn’t this fella a paro or people playing the forget that too……….. Give me a break the police get call in and then get blame wanna really think Ms. Ram gine give keys to she building to the police wanna want wanna heads examining and she had money in the place in draws and safes a mind is a terrible thing to waste think Barbados think.
    He is a thief.

  25. Hello to every one, because I am actually eager of reaing this weblog’s post to be updated regularly.
    It carries good material.

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