By Caribbean News Now contributor
GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands -- Video of a controversial arrest of a Nicaraguan woman, apparently showing the use of excessive force by police in the Cayman Islands, is causing a stir locally following its publication online.
Compounding local reaction to the incident involving restaurant manager Silvana Lewis is the audio recording, which indicates that the police involved were Jamaicans and not Caymanians.
“I thought this happened in Jamaica. I never heard one Caymanian voice... all patois!” said one person commenting on Facebook.
“I don't know which was more disturbing watching the arrest or listening to the dialogue of the police talking to each other afterwards,” said another.
Dr Frank McField
Dr Frank McField, a former Cabinet minister, was arrested along with Lewis and charged with resisting arrest and obstructing police following an incident at his restaurant in May last year, when officers from the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS) tried to seize equipment being used to play music after midnight on a Sunday.
The charges against McField were dismissed earlier this year when he successfully argued that the police should not have entered his premises to take anything without a warrant or without having made an arrest beforehand.
At the time of the incident, the restaurant was closed to customers and McField and Lewis were hosting a private dinner party when police made the arrest.
Even though the Crown has only the same evidence against Lewis as against McField, it has nevertheless continued with its prosecution of her.
McField claims that the continued prosecution of Lewis is irreconcilable with the decision of the magistrate that the police had no lawful authority to seize the items that it is alleged Lewis was seeking to protect when she got into a tussle with the police.
McField has written to chief justice Anthony Smellie, asking him to intervene in the ongoing and increasingly controversial case.
The former minister said the assault charges against Lewis cannot stand if her resistance was as a result her “lawful right to resist unlawful arrest and injury to her dignity, liberty and health.”
See police video of arrest: