Vere Bird III Wins Civil Suit
Wednesday 3rd October, 2018-The High Court has awarded Vere Bird III $ 150,000 in a case he brought against the Attorney General relating to his arrest five years ago.
Bird, along with the now deceased Jim Galloway had filed suit against the AG for police brutality and false imprisonment, following two incidents, where the lawyer, who was protesting the Wadadli Power Plant in front of Shouls Toys, Gifts and Housewares became involved in a scuffle with Police Officer Alvin Thomas, now retired that led to his arrest, detention and charges filed against him.
In his suit, Bird recounted how he felt pain from being hit in the back, and from being slapped and cuffed. He said he was humiliated and suffered mental anguish by the actions of Alvin Thomas when he was assaulted, battered and arrested in public.
He also detailed that he suffered indignity, mental suffering, disgrace and humiliation with the public arrest and the cell covered with human faeces.
For what he endured and the destruction to his equipment, the leader of the Antigua and Barbuda True Labour Party, who protested as the ‘Lone Wolf’, sought damages in the amount of $ 265, 711.60.
In a judgment entered on September 28th, High Court Master, Jan Drysdale entered judgment in Bird’s favour, granting him more than half of what he was claiming.
Ninety thosand of the $ 150,000 judgment was awarded for false imprisonment.
In assessing the damages, the High Court Master wrote in part that the defendant suggested that the claimant (Bird) deliberately taunted the police by saying bring on the police brutality. The Master wrote that “the taunt clearly designed to evoke some displeasure in the mind of others, including the police officer, should have caused the officer that is charged with keeping the peace to exercise due caution when dealing with the claimant.”
“Instead, the police officer sought to exercise his authority by arresting Bird and leaving him in less than desirable conditions for 30 hours as punishment.”
The High Court Master described the behaviour as “Cleary oppressive.”