Cops did not have to kill Husbands – residents

Residents of a Trents, St Lucy district are demanding answers about the circumstances under which a mentally ill man was fatally shot by police yesterday.

Acting Public Relations Officer of the Royal Barbados Police Force Inspector Stephen Griffith reported that lawmen were called to the area to respond to an incident just after 10 a.m. when Dwayne Husbands confronted the officers and was shot.

Police leaving the scene of yesterday’s shooting.
Police leaving the scene of yesterday’s shooting.
Concerned residents converge following the incident.
Concerned residents converge following the incident.

Griffith confirmed that an investigation had been ordered into the incident.

However, people in the community are questioning whether police needed to shoot the father of one to de-escalate the situation.

As Husbands’ sister washed his blood away from the spot where he took his last breath, outspoken resident Michelle McClean said she was angry over her friend’s death.

“It is hurtful,” she said.

“Why was his life taken today? What purpose was Dwayne’s life taken this morning? We will never know, but the police know; someone knows,” continued a visibly upset McClean who said Husbands had looked after her garden occasionally.

One resident who did not give his name said Husbands’ mental illness would cause him to “trip” sometimes, but it was always brought under control.

“This shouldn’t have happen to he; he wasn’t that bad,” the man said.

About three hours after the shooting – just after 1 p.m. – family members and close relatives, including Husbands’ mother, arrived at the scene and identified the body before it was taken away. They were too distraught to speak to the media or provide a picture of the young man.

However, his uncle Hazel Blenman told Barbados TODAY that he was saddened by the sudden loss. However, he would not question the circumstances of his nephew’s death because he was not present when the shooting occurred.

“I feel sad. He is my nephew and he has passed on, so naturally I feel aggrieved. But I can’t apportion any blame or anything because I don’t know the circumstances. But I know that definitely he had a mental issue and it was known, and it was known by the police. You got to take those things into context and deal with them as they are,” he said.

Blenman disclosed that Husbands had sought treatment in England and had been on medication since his return to Barbados.

Meanwhile, the deceased’s next-door neighbour said she was at a funeral when Husband was shot, and felt he might not have been killed had see been home.

“I sorry that I [wasn’t] home. I know that fella from a little boy. He was a quiet fella, very humble.”  

74 Responses to Cops did not have to kill Husbands – residents

  1. Arte Maria Benn
    Arte Maria Benn August 18, 2016 at 7:24 am

    Oh boy.
    First of all, chunks of this story missing.

    Why were the police there in the first place?

    Did they just happen upon him in an episode?

    Imagine how that would REALLY look since they wouldn’t know his mental state.

    My deepest condolences to the family. This is tragic.

    Reply
    • FirstLady Alexander
      FirstLady Alexander August 18, 2016 at 9:55 am

      Ya know the first thing ppl does do when anything happen is pick up d fone n call d cops…regardless of what type of matter it is.

      One time ya coulda call d van n dem would come pick them up…not now…is d ppl at the hospital that have to send them down mental.

      Reply
  2. Wayne P Hoyte
    Wayne P Hoyte August 18, 2016 at 7:27 am

    funny . you call the police there is an outcome now you upset. Maybe the police should not respond to mental cases…. then who? sometimes you just have to be careful how you tread in this island. Nothing pleases anyone,

    Reply
    • Wayne P Hoyte
      Wayne P Hoyte August 18, 2016 at 7:40 am

      if u call the police u dont have to give a name. I am not say that the out come was right or wrong. We need to determine how these situations are best dealt with so if it mean health professional on the scene being support by police than that is where we need to go. We also back and forth on issues and hardly provide solutions and advocate for change and for solutions to be implemented

      Reply
    • Kathyann Best
      Kathyann Best August 18, 2016 at 7:49 am

      The nation says he hit an officer with a block….

      Reply
    • Arte Maria Benn
      Arte Maria Benn August 18, 2016 at 7:58 am

      And the answer was to shoot him?

      Geesh.

      They hit ppl with everything from their phone books to jeeps and no one shoots them though!

      Reply
    • Danny Colombian Clarke
      Danny Colombian Clarke August 18, 2016 at 8:02 am

      Wayne I agree 100% . This is not a new issue but yet we seem to never properly address it . I remember over 35 years ago when I was in St John that a mental guy was shot n killed by police and was a loud outcry of how was handled. A “normal” person attacking a police etc. cannot be viewed in the same light as a person who obviously is not in full touch with his actions .

      Reply
    • Wayne P Hoyte
      Wayne P Hoyte August 18, 2016 at 8:05 am

      No they did not. However people with mental illness are generally alienated by family and community and are just seen a “mad”. Always seen a a burden the family as shame to the family. We only discuss these things when a story breaks. Yet we continue with our merry lives and generally dont give thought on how we can help people with such issues.

      Reply
    • Danny Colombian Clarke
      Danny Colombian Clarke August 18, 2016 at 8:12 am

      By the way Wayne they are high powered taser guns in Barbados . I was shown one by a security personal and was told they can be used from a distance as oposed to the old ones where you have to actually touch the person . Would hate to know our RBPF don’t have any . Drugs / Alcohol / Mental illness etc . can cause anyone to “act out” . Shooting them I would sincerely hope would be only when all other options of subdue has failed and lives are in immediate danger

      Reply
    • Arte Maria Benn
      Arte Maria Benn August 18, 2016 at 8:16 am

      They are not legal.

      Reply
    • Danny Colombian Clarke
      Danny Colombian Clarke August 18, 2016 at 8:34 am

      You serious Ms Benn ? I honestly don’t know the whole deal with them but seeing as they are legal in most places I figured would be the same here . A lot of registered security ppl carry them up front n bold

      Reply
    • Kathyann Best
      Kathyann Best August 18, 2016 at 10:33 am

      Arte Maria Benn, i didn’t say that. Just repeating what is in the paper. Not drawing conclusions because i wasn’t there.

      Reply
  3. Randy Hartman
    Randy Hartman August 18, 2016 at 7:31 am

    little America now?

    Reply
  4. Tennyson Joseph
    Tennyson Joseph August 18, 2016 at 7:50 am

    @ Wayne P Hoyte..so true mate mabe some of those passing judgement should voleenter to respond and deal with such case as it’s clear our officers are clearly not trained to deal effectively with such cases but they are the ones responding to protect! !

    Reply
    • Wayne P Hoyte
      Wayne P Hoyte August 18, 2016 at 8:12 am

      Chailean Dottin The question were the responding officers adequately train for such a response? Was it a first time encounter for the responding officers? Did the officer have other tools they could have use to defuse the situation?

      With training you dont always get it right the 1st time. It is an unfortunate situation and the news reported that they is a call for an investigation.

      In the meantime we the public should add our voices in suggesting solution how such should be dealt with in the future.

      Reply
    • Tennyson Joseph
      Tennyson Joseph August 18, 2016 at 8:16 am

      Chailean Dottin..when in Barbados has mental health nurses turned up and dealt with such cases without the police?..More often than not its police who has to deal with such …

      Reply
    • Tennyson Joseph
      Tennyson Joseph August 18, 2016 at 8:42 am

      Chailean Dottin..I’m not cordoning any or upholding any inappropriate actions on behalf of any authority. .the facts are we lack the resources some one has to respond to such calls ..

      Reply
  5. Kay Critchlow
    Kay Critchlow August 18, 2016 at 7:57 am

    Police are human they have families and children to go home to their job can be dangerous and thankless if you don’t want any trouble with the police abide by the law . Why should a decent working police officer risk making their children mother or fatherless . I’m sure none of them police go to a call and just think oh I just shoot . Always more to why they did .

    Reply
  6. Ken R. Smith
    Ken R. Smith August 18, 2016 at 8:01 am

    Let’s await the findings of the promised investigations.

    Reply
  7. Titch Bajan Scorpian Small
    Titch Bajan Scorpian Small August 18, 2016 at 8:07 am

    We getting like da US, shoot first ask questions after..stupes.

    Reply
  8. Ryan Williams
    Ryan Williams August 18, 2016 at 8:08 am

    Stupse….i wasn’t there so I ain commenting.

    Reply
  9. Tennyson Joseph
    Tennyson Joseph August 18, 2016 at 8:09 am

    @ Michelle Calloway..there is a protocol in place and often getting a mental health nurse to attend violent patients often it’s the police who has to deal with such cases self preservation must factor..

    Reply
    • Tennyson Joseph
      Tennyson Joseph August 18, 2016 at 8:47 am

      I’m going based on what was reported. ..and that was their was an altercation ..I’ve no facts..

      Reply
    • Tennyson Joseph
      Tennyson Joseph August 18, 2016 at 9:01 am

      As was reported …and in dealing with such cases time and what action is taken by first responders is key ..mind you the first responders weren’t those trained to deal with such persons. ..we need to take a closer look at how such calls are treated ..but the reality remains across the health services their is shortage of personel. ..I’ve worked as PC in bim not so long ago and the reality was when called we responded very often without a nurse ..

      Reply
    • Tennyson Joseph
      Tennyson Joseph August 18, 2016 at 9:10 am

      The motto of the RBPF ..has always been and remains To SERVE..

      Reply
    • Tennyson Joseph
      Tennyson Joseph August 18, 2016 at 9:11 am

      And PROTECT

      Reply
    • Dexter Israel
      Dexter Israel August 18, 2016 at 9:38 am

      Michelle Calloway he had nothing to harm anyone…

      Reply
  10. Hal Austin August 18, 2016 at 8:10 am

    We want to be like the Americans – shooting people for being black. There must be an inquiry. What is the prime minister, the attorney, the leader of the Opposition, the police federation, the church all saying about this?
    The family must get a lawyer and ask the courts to order an inquiry, if the attorney general is reluctant to.

    Reply
  11. Jema Goodluck
    Jema Goodluck August 18, 2016 at 8:16 am

    Is Barbados coming like America , kill then ask questions.

    Reply
  12. Divine Duchess
    Divine Duchess August 18, 2016 at 8:18 am

    What was the decease doing???????????

    Reply
  13. AniRo Ararek
    AniRo Ararek August 18, 2016 at 8:49 am

    I wonder can’t people be shot in the arm or leg to just disable them?

    Reply
    • FirstLady Alexander
      FirstLady Alexander August 18, 2016 at 9:58 am

      You would have to be a good shot to do that….but who says that they arent usually aiming for the arm or leg * Hint hint*

      Reply
  14. BoboTheClown August 18, 2016 at 9:00 am

    Bajans are very vocal when something unethical happens,yet even though the initial outcry is thunderous they are generally missing or silent in short order.
    It does appear that the Police as claimed was accosted by this mentally unstable indivisual. From what i’ve read ,there was no mention of this man having a weapon or a projectile or any other dangerous object that would have endangered the life of the Police or anyone else . I am sure that like Police all over the World ,the Police in Barbados have in their arsenal, guns, pepper spray ,mace,and tasers,or stun guns.
    I am confident that if an independent and fair inquiry is conducted it will conclude that lethal force was not required ,and excessive ,and criminal negligence contributed to the gentleman’s death.Of course the Police will say that they thought that the lad posed a threat to them or to the public ,and they feared for their lives and had no choice but to use lethal force.
    Don’t expect justice folk. Police are aquitted 99.9 percent of the time .There is a law for them ,and a different on for us the people, so it seems.

    Reply
  15. Ras Unjay
    Ras Unjay August 18, 2016 at 9:15 am

    i will stay outside and look in pon this one,this too hot fah me.lolol.

    Reply
  16. Sonia Sonee Walker
    Sonia Sonee Walker August 18, 2016 at 9:30 am

    Do the Police in Barbados not have pepper spray and tasers at their disposal. These can take down an aggressive person whether with mental health or not instead of killing them?

    Reply
    • Dexter Israel
      Dexter Israel August 18, 2016 at 9:35 am

      yes they do n the clown dont use it..them reather pull trigger n shot n murder the people

      Reply
    • Sonia Sonee Walker
      Sonia Sonee Walker August 18, 2016 at 9:37 am

      Truly sad that it came to this and people talking as though all persons with mental health are the same. God help wunna should mental health befall you or one of your own. So far I have viewed the attitude of some that seems to suggest that if you got mental problems you should be put down like a common dog…..smh

      Reply
    • Arte Maria Benn
      Arte Maria Benn August 18, 2016 at 11:03 am

      They do not.

      Neither of those objects are legal in Barbados.

      Reply
    • Maria Leclair Dasilva
      Maria Leclair Dasilva August 18, 2016 at 1:37 pm

      RBPF are following the American trend of shoot first ask questions after.

      Reply
    • Maria Leclair Dasilva
      Maria Leclair Dasilva August 18, 2016 at 1:39 pm

      They need to get on board with taser and spray.

      Reply
  17. Marsha Layne
    Marsha Layne August 18, 2016 at 9:31 am

    I thought police were trained how to shoot to injure and not shoot to kill…thought only the Army shot to kill as a first resort….*shrugs*….

    We had the police play judge and executioner for a young man last month and Bajans told them they were right….

    Here we go…

    Reply
  18. Karen August 18, 2016 at 9:34 am

    First… let me convey my sincere condolences to the relatives and friends of the decease (Dwayne Husnands)
    Second …. please note I am not taking sides.
    Third… Why was the police called if the residents could have dealt with it (as they said), the residents keep stressing the police dint have to kill him. I would pray they didn’t willfully shoot and kill him regardless of his mental illness.
    What the neighbour’s did not say is what lead to the officers shooting, did the decease attack the officers?
    I am just asking.
    May his soul RIP

    Reply
  19. Victor Prescod August 18, 2016 at 9:54 am

    The post by the clown Bobo needs no explaing.Note (clown)

    Reply
  20. Joy August 18, 2016 at 10:44 am

    Which one of you is willing to volunteer to go and deal with the next madman that the police receive a calk about?

    Reply
    • Olutoye Walrond August 18, 2016 at 11:30 am

      What are you suggesting – that because a person has a mental problem the only solution is to shoot them?

      Reply
    • Donild Trimp August 18, 2016 at 11:36 am

      Joy you are an ass.

      An individual should not be shot and killed by authorities because of a mental disability.

      This is copy cat policing. Why do things the American way? It is an ignorant disgusting policy.

      In the pass, Police in Barbados were always able to deal with people suffering from mental illness and they did so in a unique way.

      No matter how severe the person’s mental illness was, there was always someone in that individual’s circle who they would listen to. The Police would always sought out that person to talk to the mentally ill individual and that strategy never ever failed.

      Fast forward to 2016 and you have the Police in Barbados doing what is normal in the United States of America.

      Typie Griffith it is time you step forward and make sure the Police in Barbados never ever do something like this again.

      Reply
      • Jack de Ripper August 19, 2016 at 8:14 am

        There will be the time where even that person can’t talk him down. Imagine a scenario where a police let someone try to talk to a ‘mad’ person and he injures or kills them. What would your suggestion be at that point? Try someone else, shoot then? Taser or pepper spray? Police cannot justify putting someone in harms way the idea is to protect life and you have to take everything into account. Not just the vacuum you seem to think things operate in. Imagine your brother going off, would you be comfortable with the police sending your mother to calm him down or would you say that’s their job to bring it under control?

        Reply
  21. Diana Cave
    Diana Cave August 18, 2016 at 10:57 am

    So true ! Elvis Goodman and Ryan Gaskin .. I wonder why myself , Sorry for his life gone , But why call the police then if he is harmless .. Lotta foolish talk.

    Reply
  22. Ashanti Padilla
    Ashanti Padilla August 18, 2016 at 11:08 am

    I guess all of you condemning the police were there. Glad to see that when the investigation comes up we have so many eye witnesses to give a statement.

    Reply
  23. Hunte Omar
    Hunte Omar August 18, 2016 at 12:02 pm

    Yes any execution of a life should warrants an impartial investigation. There have to be a greater level of accountability as to how authority is exercise by the police . I believe there should be a public Agency manned by retired jurist to deal with police executions and brutality. Barbados is a civil Country.

    Reply
  24. Petee Cumberbatch
    Petee Cumberbatch August 18, 2016 at 12:26 pm

    they did not have to kill him is right!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  25. Maria Leclair Dasilva
    Maria Leclair Dasilva August 18, 2016 at 2:01 pm

    This is nothing out of the ordinary, it happens everyday in other countries, where police are not trained to know how to deal with the mentally disabled. RBPF needs to get on board and train their officers how to desensitise the situation and save a life rather than take one. There are training programmes in place specifically for police officers. These programmes work very well, proof has been seen in Canada how well it works. It is not necessary to shoot innocent mentally challenged individuals. They need to be given an opportunity to live, it is not their fault who they are. This is really sad. It’s always a sad day when a mentally disabled person is taken advantage of and killed. Condolences to the family.

    Reply
    • Danny Colombian Clarke
      Danny Colombian Clarke August 18, 2016 at 3:06 pm

      You right Maria . Just last weekend a guy went wild at a demolition derby and started throwing rocks . Got tazered and that was the end of that . In US he would have been dead in 2 seconds flat .

      Reply
    • Maria Leclair Dasilva
      Maria Leclair Dasilva August 18, 2016 at 3:11 pm

      Unfortunately they did not use the same method this time around. Will be interesting to know why they choose to shoot rather than taser or spray.

      Reply
  26. Hal Austin August 18, 2016 at 2:43 pm

    By the way, a very similar thing occurred with the death of former footballer Dalian Atkinson, who died after he was tasered.
    The two officers are now suspended and under criminal investigation and the case has been reported to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.
    Nothing of the sort will ever happen in Barbados. All the authorities have been dismissive of the pain and suffering they have caused the dead man’s family.
    Being mentally ill is now a capital offence in Barbados. What is the Opposition spokesman on criminal justice saying? What about the constituency member of parliament saying?
    Barbados is now an outlaw society. This is what 50 years of independence has done to us. Who speaks on behalf of the poor and alienated?

    Reply
  27. Alfred Shepherd August 18, 2016 at 3:48 pm

    This is after the fact, and I was not there to see the situation unfold. But it seems to me, if you know this person is mentally ill and I’m sure the residents would have told them. Then the officers should had taken better action in dealing with this mentally ill person. Does Barbados police get training or should I say special training on how to deal with these individuals. If they don’t, then they should start that training now.

    Reply
  28. Sonia Sonee Walker
    Sonia Sonee Walker August 18, 2016 at 5:17 pm

    It not a question of if we all were there, ALL of us commenting here are giving an opinion or is that not allowed? I personally think lethal force should be a last resort, especially if the perp is arm with a gun, knife etc. What I totally disagree with is the apparent lack of respect for the life of someone with mental issues. Don’t take this lightly, it is something that can affect any of us at anytime, would you then feel this way. Most of the time persons with mental health problems just want to be treated like a human being. Those I have come across certainly do.

    Reply
  29. Highly Flavoured Kelalicia
    Highly Flavoured Kelalicia August 18, 2016 at 7:25 pm

    I have to say something here. First of all any of you live in an area where someone with mental illness live ?Do you know how their behavior changes when they are going off ? Well let me tell you the neighborhood fears for their safety doors lock up tight and most of the woman and children try to be in the house before dark !!Then to make matters worst the mental van don’t respond anymore so you have to call the police who aren’t always able to apprehend the person or get the situation under control where talking about some person in most cases who aren’t aware of what there doing !!!So don’t be so fast to bash the police !!!!

    Reply
  30. Joy August 18, 2016 at 7:50 pm

    Donald Trimp, resorting to insulting comments does not address the issue. You will not go and deal with a madman. You do not know if the police knew he was mad. You do not know what equipment the police in Barbados have or can legally use. Like most of the persons here you are speaking from a position in which you lack knowledge. This is not TV. This is the real world. Why don’t you ask why the police were called in the first place? Do you know how many police officers have been stabbed or injured by mad men? Quite a few, including one who died as result.

    Reply
  31. Jack de Ripper August 19, 2016 at 8:03 am

    The only time a police officer or a member of a community is in danger is not only when a person is armed with a weapon. Police had batons and guns last I checked so there is no middle ground. There are lots of questions but I don’t understand why a society that calls police if their neighbours burn trash like comparing to the USA. It’s a far way from that. The term is emotionally mentally distressed persons and there is training to identify such. It does not only apply to ‘mad’ people. It can be any of us at a point in our lives where emotions overtake us, alcohol, drugs…etc. All of these things police have to deal with. I would struggle to believe he was sat on a step and they walked up and shot him. I would like to know the circumstances as well. I see in the article this lady saying she is sorry she wasn’t home….I’m glad she wasn’t. You might not have been able to calm him that day and the headline might have been two dead. Then the cry would have been whyour didn’t the police do anything about him? He was mad and giving trouble long time. I’m not saying it was justified or not, I’m just wondering why all the haste to vilify police officers doing their job. Anyone remember the police officer that thought he knew a mad man by the treasury? Ended up being stabbed to death with a chisel. All well and good to sit behind your computer screens in judgement isn’t it and not have to make life or death decisions. Or likely to have to make one every time you go to work but still get up and go when the people you are protecting can only find fault in the way you do your job.

    Reply
  32. Joy August 19, 2016 at 8:25 am

    Well said Jack. On July 29 2016 a 7 year old girl in Morocco was killed at a zoo by a rock thrown by an elephant. Some of the comments here seem to suggest that only a gun can kill. Almost anything can be a deadly weapon in the right or wrong circumstances. Police are required to make split second decisions with their lives on the line. Unless you have been in that position people should not rush to judge. I have never been in the police shoes but clearly it is a thankless job.

    Reply

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