A Toronto man died in Grenada this week after an incident reportedly involving police brutality and a case of mistaken identity.
Oscar Bartholomew, 39, died Tuesday after he was allegedly beaten by officers.
News reports out of Grenada claim Bartholomew mistook a plainclothes female police officer for a friend and hugged her, prompting the beating.
Grenada’s Prime Minister Tillman Thomas has called for an investigation into Bartholomew’s death. Local police have yet to comment on the case, but are expected to release a statement.
The Canadian department of Foreign Affairs told The Canadian Press it’s “aware of reports of the death of a permanent resident of Canada in Grenada. Our thoughts and condolences are with those affected by this tragedy.”
In the meantime, friends in Toronto are mourning the loss.
“It’s ridiculous, absolutely ridiculous,” said Liz Brown. “This is a man who would not hurt a fly, he would walk away from a fight…he would never hurt anybody.”
“It was a mistaken identity and he tried to apologize from what we are hearing.”
CityNews spoke to Bartholomew’s stepmother on Wednesday. She said he was beaten so badly that he was brain dead by the time he reached hospital.
With files from The Canadian Press