Charges against cops accused of beating Toronto man to death dropped
Manslaughter charges against 5 police officers in the beating death a Toronto man have been dropped.
They were accused of putting 39-year-old Oscar Bartholomew into a fatal coma in his native Grenada in December 2011. He landed in a jail cell after relatives say he bear-hugged a plainclothes police officer he'd mistaken for a friend. She yelled "rape!".
A judge has ruled a coroner's inquest must be held before the criminal case can go ahead.
The judge also ordered the officers reinstated & paid back wages missed as a result of being suspended because of the charges. They've been getting half-pay while on bail.
The men could find themselves charged once again, potentially with a more serious offence _ if evidence presented at the inquest justifies it. Unlike Canadian inquests, those in Grenada can return a verdict of murder or manslaughter, leading to criminal charges.
The Coroner's Act mandates an inquest when someone dies in a public facility like a prison, but Grenada's top prosecutor believes it's the first time the act has taken precedence over criminal proceedings.
He says an appeal is likely & prosecutors would try to set aside the order quashing the charges.
(With files from the Canadian Press)