Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Investigation into Coye/Madrill case dismissal still pending


When the case against San Pedro Police Officers Norman Coye and Darnell Madrill was dismissed in January of this year, many islanders were surprised, including the wounded victims. Coye and Madrill were accused of being involved in a shooting incident at Central Park in April of 2017. Their unprecedented actions caused injuries from bullet fragments to five persons, and charges of Wounding were brought against them. After their court case was continuously adjourned for months, they walked free from the offenses. This prompted the Professional Standard Branch (PSB) to investigate the case and find out why it was tossed out since the reason given was due to the absence of the prosecution. However, since January, the PSB has been inconclusive regarding such investigation, and up to press time, there has not been an official report regarding the case.

PC Coye and PC Madrill

On January 17th, former Head of the PSB, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams commented on the allegations that the case was dismissed after repeated absences from the prosecution. “If the prosecutor was aware of the court date and failed to appear without any reasonable cause, then providing he is a police prosecutor, he can be dealt with disciplinarily,” Williams told reporters. He assured that the case would be investigated by his office to ascertain the true reason behind its dismissal.
However two months later, there have been no results from such investigation, and when Williams was asked about its progress, he indicated that Assistant Commissioner of Police, Dezerie Phillips had been working on it. When Phillips was contacted, she simply stated that she could not comment on the investigation. The San Pedro Sun also tried to contact Macedonio Sanchez, the island-based police officer who was in charge of the case’s prosecution but to no avail. It is alleged that due to the manner in which Sanchez handled the case, he was transferred to a different post off the island.
The dismissal of the case became heated when one of the shooting victims, Alfredo Cowo, was murdered on January 16th, one week after both Coye and Madrill walked free from the charges. Cowo had claimed he was attempting to re-open the case against the two police officers. He had shared with the media that his life was under threat and that police should be held liable in the event that something happened to him. A week later, he was shot to death. After his demise, Cowo’s relatives and friends questioned the possibility of police involvement in his killing. However, the police in San Pedro adamantly deny any involvement of their officers in the fatal incident and consequently arrested William Godoy for the offense on January 22nd.
At this moment, it is unclear if officers Coye and Madrill have been reinstalled to their previous police unit known as the Quick Response Team. It is also uncertain if the case against both officers will ever be re-opened, as none of the other victims are known to press the matter since the trial ended.

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