Police chief to face class action suit
Having withdrawn their contempt of court charge against Acting Commissioner of Police Tyrone Griffith, sport shooter Bernard Chase and his colleagues have promised to continue a class action suit against the top cop.
Through his attorney Wilfred Abrahams, Chase, a national champion shooter, filed a class action suit against the commissioner for unilaterally refusing to renew licenses in respect of firearms used in sport shooting. After the Court granted an interim injunction that ordered the top cop to renew the licenses pending final determination of the substantive case, Chase then asked the judge to cite the Commissioner for contempt because the Firearms Department continued to breach the court order.
When the case was about to be heard, it was learnt that the Commissioner had resumed licensing the guns. Abrahams told Barbados TODAY this afternoon that while his client had every right to continue the contempt hearing it made no sense as the Commissioner had since complied with the order. Chase will however, continue the substantive matter for a final judgement. “I am sorry it got to the point where the contempt application had to be filed but no one is above an order of the Court. This was not about proving a point. So when the Commissioner finally obeyed the order prior to the contempt hearing there was no need to waste further time on that part of it,” Abrahams said.
The attorney explained the substantive matter was whether the top cop had the right or authority in the first place, to “unilaterally” refuse to renew the licences of the weapons used for target shooting only.
Abrahams added that he was awaiting the case management order from the registry “which will spell out exactly the time frame for completing the pre trial procedures” like witness statements before the matter goes to trial.” (EJ)