(CMR) The Police have issued a statement clarifying an article published on yesterday's Cayman News Service website entitled LGBT ‘hate speech not criminal, says CoP as being “incorrectly represented and distorted.” The Commission of Police stated that CNS has been formally “notified of the concerns of the RCIPS” and corrections requested.
The article stated that the numerous “hate speech” comments made on social media about an LGBTQ community fundraiser and that community were not yet criminal according to the police commissioner. However, the commissioner confirmed that:
In a recent article published by a local media publication on 9th September 2020, the published headline referring to the Commissioner of Police’s position on “hate speech” was incorrectly represented and distorted. It is important to note that the Commissioner of Police did not mention “hate speech” separately or collectively in any responses nor did he say that “hate speech” in the general sense is not a criminal act as suggested by the local media publication in the article. In a response to a query from the local media publication in relation to specific messages being circulated in a group text, the Commissioner stated that, in context, while those particular comments were concerning, and potentially problematic, the specific comments being queried were not in breach of the penal code as they were not implicit or explicitly directed to any specific person(s).
The RCIPS is committed to our values of respect, courtesy, integrity, professionalism and service to all members of our Cayman Islands community. We represent and protect all members and the individual rights of our community. As an organisation we remain committed to our vision to make the Cayman Islands safer while ensuring that all members of our community can go about their lives without fear of crime within and against our community.
While the Commissioner has not received any complaints of a criminal nature made by any person(s) or group impacted by any posts, as a service we take any complaints regarding any content seriously and any such complaints received will be fully and thoroughly investigated to the full extent of the law. We encourage any person(s) that have been affected directly by any criminal act to contact the RCIPS to report the matter. While there is no specific reference made to ‘Hate Speech’ contained in our legislation, there are many criminal offences contained in our legislation that provide considerable protection for our community against harassment, alarm, distress etc. which provide the legal basis for the investigation and prosecution of such crimes. This RCIPS wishes to advise the public that the matter will be kept under constant review and monitored on an on-going basis to ensure that the criminal law and penal code is not breached.
The mentioned media house has been formally notified of the concerns of the RCIPS in relation to its article and has been asked to make appropriate corrections to the article.