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Decision to reinstate policeman sacked for misconduct to go back to court

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Stephen Corbishley, the Commissioner of Police (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

The Commissioner of Police is to be allowed to challenge an order to reinstate an officer fired for gross misconduct.

The Public Service Commission ruled last August that Police Constable Oswin Pereira should not have been dismissed over allegations that he used “excessive force” against a teenage suspect.

But the Supreme Court has granted Commissioner of Police Stephen Corbishley leave for a judicial review of the decision by the PSC to replace the dismissal with a “final written warning”.

The case is expected to return to the Supreme Court tomorrow.

Pc Pereira was acquitted in Magistrates’ Court of a charge the he unlawfully wounded motorcyclist Talundae Grant after a high-speed chase on May 13, 2017.

But he lost his job after a Bermuda Police Service disciplinary panel found in January 2020 he had hit the teenager with a baton without reason and turned off his body camera to cover up the assault.

Pc Pereira was dismissed, but he appealed to the PSC who found in August 2020 there was no evidence to support the finding of assault.

The PSC also found there was “no physical harm found to be suffered by Mr Grant” as a result of the arrest and that the “late complaint” was lodged after the teenager’s lawyer got a copy of Pc Pereira’s body camera video.

The officer can be heard in the recording to tell a colleague “camera’s off”.

Pc Pereira told the disciplinary panel he was instructing the fellow officer to turn his camera on and that he did not deliberately turn his own camera off.

The PSC rejected the explanation, but said the only harm caused by the incident was to the BPS's reputation and to public confidence in policing because of the “implausible account” given by Pc Pereira about the body camera.

Civil proceedings were filed against the Commissioner of Police in October over the failure to reinstate Pc Pereira, despite the ruling of the PSC.

The Commissioner asked for a judicial review of the PSC’s decision.

Mr Grant died in a road crash in 2019 aged 19.

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