Mystery Shrouds Death Of I'Akobi Tacuma Maloney~Police Says No To Cover-up

Submitted by the People’s Democratic Congress (unedited)

Tacuma Seen Here Accepting His Degree
Tacuma Seen Here Accepting His Degree – Source: Justice Committee Blog

The People’s Democratic Congress (PDC) has been stunned by the reported circumstances surrounding the death of the late I’Akobi Tacuma Maloney, at Land Lock, Cove Bay, St. Lucy, on Tuesday, June 17, 2008. And, just like the thousands upon thousands of people across Barbados that have been questioning those reported circumstances in which Maloney – a former student of the Christ Church Foundation School, the Barbados Community College and the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad – was alleged by police to have met his death, we too in PDC are questioning these same reported circumstances of his death.

Moreover, as a responsible and committed party of the masses and middle classes of people of this country that stoutly believes in the inviolable principles of freedom, democracy, social justice, transparency and accountability for Barbados, we must let our feelings on this very controversial matter be known to esp. the great many citizens of Barbados, in whatever ways possible.

So, here we go. According to the Daily Nation Newspaper, Thursday, June 19, 2008, ” (Some)officers on the scene Tuesday night said they responded to a call of a drug landing around 5.30 pm, where they observed and interviewed Tacuma…(whereupon) initial investigations reveal that Maloney suddenly ran and jumped off a cliff, landing on a ledge below. Shortly after this, he was washed off this ledge by the pounding waves, which took him out to sea” Public Relations Officer, Inspector Barry Hunte, said in a Press release.

So, just as murky and choppy as those waters are in Cove Bay St. Lucy, that was the kind of response that the PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER, Mr. Hunte, gave to the Nation Newspaper, and by extension to the public of Barbados. What an unacceptable response!! No doubt such a response has been fuelling the belief (rightly or wrongly held) of throngs of people in Barbados that I’akobi was wronged by police, and esp. given the history of allegations by many people in Barbados against many Barbadian police of extra-judicial misconduct and illtreatment. However, it must be stated by the PDC that the vast majority of officers in the Royal Barbados Police Force seem to be of good character and behaviour and esp. when conducting their duties.

Nevertheless, this said issue of the newspaper went on to further state that such allegations were NOT washing with the late Maloney’s family and the wider Rastafari community in Barbados, and how Margaret Maloney, the mother of I’Akobi, remained convinced that her son was pushed to his death, as that she knew he was afraid of heights and feared death by drowning.

What is even of greater concern to our party about the police allegations made so far of the circumstances surrounding this serious matter, is that, on the back page of yesterday’s Saturday Sun – July 5, 2008, you have the Assistant Police Commissioner (for crime), Mr. Seymour Cumberbatch, in producing more disturbing and incomplete allegations to the ones that were earlier tendered by Mr. Hunte, saying how on the night in question police saw that Maloney was acting strangely when approached by lawmen who were responding to a report of a drug landing in the same area.

Said Mr. Cumberbatch, “Police came upon Maloney while responding to a drug landing in the same area. HE WAS DRESSED IN A SHORT PANTS ONLY AND WAS PACING UP AND DOWN ON THE RIDGE OVERLOOKING THE NEARBY CLIFF, WHICH CAUSED POLICE TO APPROACH HIM. WHEN HE WAS APPROACHED BY OFFICERS, HE RESPONDED THAT HE WAS UNDER PRESSURE”. This said issue of the Saturday Sun, goes on further to report the crime chief as saying that MALONEY, AT THE REQUEST OF THE POLICE, DID PUT BACK ON HIS CLOTHING AND PLACED HIS HAVERSACK ON HIS BACK AND STARTED TO ACCOMPANY OFFICERS AWAY FROM THE CLIFF”. It also did report him as saying that ” IT WAS DURING THIS PERIOD THAT THE YOUNG MAN DARTED AWAY AND JUMPED OVER THE CLIFF”. The crime chief so claimed THAT INVESTIGATIONS REVEALED THAT MALONEY WAS GOING THROUGH A STATE OF DEPRESSION WHEN HE REPORTEDLY RAN AND JUMPED OFF THE CLIFF, AND THAT POLICE DISCOVERED THAT A NOTE WAS ENTERED INTO HIS PERSONAL DIARY WHICH SUGGESTED THAT HE WAS CONTEMPLATING SUICIDE.

Verily, Mr. Cumberbatch, and we surely dont know that this is the view of most of the officers close to the case, has indeeed gone on to conclude that , “THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO EVIDENCE TO SUGGEST ANY FOUL PLAY IN THE DEATH OF I’AKOBI TACUMA MALONEY”.

Well, we have four (4) questions, for now, for the Royal Barbados Police Force on this very troubling affair:

  • Were the attending officers all aware of who the late Mr. Maloney was at the time of interviewing him at Cove Bay?
  • Since Mr. Cumberbatch is seeking to claim the possibility of suicide – why is it that his death happened ONLY after he made contact with those particular officers then, and AT NO TIME BEFORE?
  • Why is it that those officers simply did NOT leave Mr. Maloney to himself seeing that you were on a drug busting mission?
  • And, why is it that the logic and imagery of the language that Mr. Hunte and Mr. Cumberbatch have both used in describing the circumstances surrounding his death, do NOT suggest that those officers who were there were NOT AT ALL concerned about his running off a cliff and into dangerous waters, and thus being in serious danger, and suggesting that there was a life that could have possibly been lost and to respond accordingly ( with despatch)?

Certainly, judging by the fact that there are many more questions and issues related to this affair that can be brought to light we must state that it is our intention to go in pursuit of as many of them so that the public of Barbados will be fully apprised of what happened at Cove Bay, and until such a time that there is a satisfactory outcome to this very serious matter. Finally, we in PDC ask that NOT ONLY must there be a Coroner’s Inquest into the circumstances of this death as soon as possible , BUT that ALSO the Attorney General allow his department to carry out their own fair and impartial investigations into this grievous affair.

Members of the BU family can log in here to participate in a petition which has been launched by his Brethren

David

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