CARICOM team in Dominica to investigate death of man in police custody

Three investigators from CARICOM’s  Regional Investigative Management System (RIMS) have arrived in  Dominica to begin investigating the death of Kings Hill man, Kerwin Prosper.

Prosper, aged 36, died in police custody over the carnival weekend whilst assisting the lawmen with an ongoing investigation.

Earlier this month, Acting Chief of Police, Lincoln Corbette, revealed that the Commonwealth of Dominica Police Force had requested assistance from the CARICOM Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS) in their investigation of Prosper’s death.

According to Corbette, Proper complained of feeling unwell while in police custody in the morning of Monday, February 15, 2021,

“He was taken to the Dominica China Friendship Hospital where he was examined and released back into police custody,” Corbette stated.

The Acting Chief further reported that later that evening during the course of the investigation at police headquarters, Prosper became unresponsive and was again transported via ambulance to the Dominica China Friendship Hospital where he was pronounced dead by a medical doctor at 11:40 p.m.

“That same evening, I appointed [the] Acting Assistant Commissioner of Police to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of a Kerwin Prosper. On February 18, 2021, an autopsy was conducted on the body of the deceased by the government pathologist, Dr. Alarcon,” Corbette revealed.

According to the Acting Chief, upon receipt of the autopsy on March 2, 2021, and having considered “all things,” he advised the Minister for National Security, Rayburn Blackmoore, that external assistance should be requested to strengthen the investigation process.

He said that, as a matter of urgency, the Minister made the request on March 2, 2021.

In a media statement today, March 19, Corbette reported that upon the arrival of the three investigators, they were  sworn in as Special Constables and will commence their duty following a five day quarantine period.

“As Special Constables, they have all the powers and privileges as a police officer in Dominica. The MOU, as agreed upon, is for an initial two weeks, but there is nothing barring an extension of the time,” the police said.

Corbette is of the view that the independent investigation of CARICOM  will strengthen the investigative process and will  ensure that it is conducted in an “impartial and transparent manner, whilst supporting the police force in maintaining its “professional conduct, credibility, public confidence and trust in [the] handling of  the investigative process.”