Thursday, July 26, 2007


This is one of those stories out of nowhere that I run across from time to time that are almost beyond belief...but aren't.

Desmond Key, 28, was picked up by cops after he had stopped to help a female relative. At the time, the police discovered that the car he was driving had incorrect plates and was unlicensed.

Hardly the crime of the century.

Anyway, the coppers took him in to custody.

Three weeks later Key is still in the hospital with injuries inflicted upon him while in the hands of the police. Hospital officials say that Key was suffering from pancreatitis and could not say conclusively whether this condition had been aggravated by the beating, which had left bruises all over his body. However relatives say that Key was the picture of health up to the time of his incarceration-though he had been recovering from surgery which he had undergone some two months before.

Key told the press from his hospital bed what happened told of his ordeal in the cell at the Grove police station when he was arrested. "On Sunday [three weeks ago, on June 17] they picked me up and took me into custody[ Grove Police Station]. Me and one of the officers had one or two words with each other. He came into the cell after he was let in by one of his squad mates and began slapping me about the place," Keys alleged.

Key says the policeman beat him for about 15 minutes with a wooden baseball bat in his midsection and back. Key also states that only one policeman took part in the beating, but no one tried to stop it, other than the man who shared the cell with him. "I blacked out and came to when they threw water in the cell on me. After that, I started feeling sick and was throwing up clots of blood [so] they took me to the hospital," he alleged.

And, of course, Key subsequently had six charges filed against him, including resisting arrest, but due to his condition, he has yet to be officially arraigned.

The article below is from the Nassau Guardian (Bahamas).

Police brutality claims

Officers who allegedly brutalized a man while he was in his jail cell may face criminal charges if he dies.

Desmond Key, who was allegedly beaten by police and as a consequence has been hospitalized since June 11, is now battling for his life. He stopped breathing and was admitted to the Princess Margaret Intensive Care Unit [ICU] four days later. He has since undergone surgery and remains in critical condition in the ICU.

Key's family members told The Guardian on Wednesday that the police complaints unit said it would have to turn the case over to CID for further investigations because of Key's condition. Desmond Key's family has alleged that their relative was beaten with a baseball bat by officers from the Grove police station while in custody.

"The ministry of national security [is] awaiting the letter so they will know how to proceed," Key's mother, Christine Key said.

Key's family recently made a public plea for blood donations. They have requested persons with A, B or O negative blood type to donate blood for Key who has a rare blood type—AB negative.

His mother Christine said she still believed the police who allegedly beat her son so viciously were responsible for his present condition. "Desmond was working at a job which required that he work very hard ," she said. "He was fine up until the time he was beaten up by the police."

Christine Key also said that doctors warned that her son might not fully recover from recent surgery for pancreatitis, which he was diagnosed with after he was taken to hospital. This condition, according to doctors, could have been caused by a variety of things, including trauma from a severe beating.

After Key's arrest and the alleged beating at the prison, he allegedly complained of stomach pains and was also said to have been throwing up clumps of blood. He was taken to the hospital the next day, where he has remained ever since.

"The doctor told us that he might have brain damage because of complications suffered during surgery, " Christine Key said.

She also said that at this point the family was preparing for the worst.

Desmond's grandmother, Verona Bastian, a former police reserve officer, said she had taken all the proper measures in reporting the incident with officials at the corruption and complaints unit and was satisfied with the way things were proceeding.

"We are not trying to make the police look bad," she said. "What we want is for the law to obey the law."

Police officials were not available for comments up to press time.


Anonymous said...


The trial of Corporal Donovan Gardiner and Constable Tavares Bowleg, the two officers charged in connection with the death of 28-year-old Desmond Key three years ago, did not begin yesterday as scheduled before Supreme Court Justice Vera Watkins.

Instead, the trial is now expected to commence on March 7, 2011.

Key had reportedly been arrested on a traffic violation and was in a holding cell at the Grove Police station at the time of the alleged attack back in 2007.

The beating left the father of six in a coma at the Princess Margaret and Jackson Memorial hospitals for several months.

He died in hospital in January 19, 2008.

Both Gardiner and Bowleg were arraigned on manslaughter charges in the Supreme Court in June 2008.

Gardiner is charged with manslaughter and Bowleg faces an abetment charge.

In February 2008, attorney Murrio Ducille, who at the time was representing Gardiner, bowed out, as his assistant had a close connection to Key.

On December 18, 2008, weeks before Key’s death, Magistrate Janet Bullard stepped down from the case citing a potential conflict of interest.

Oread Daily said...

Thank you for the update. I will try to look into this or if you want feel free to send me something at