By Ramona Luthi
Crime Chief, Paul Williams on Friday distanced himself from the reports made by the Force that one of the three men who was slain by police at the Kingston Seawall yesterday had a criminal background.
In a police press statement issued yesterday, it was disclosed that Kwame Assanah and Errol Adams were previously arrested in connection with several offences and Dextroy Cordis was recently granted bail on a simple larceny charge with regards to ‘trunking’.
According to relatives of the now deceased, Assanah of Buxton, East Coast Demerara, the man had recently applied for a police clearance –which was granted to him- for his new job as a debt collector at Courts.
When INews made contact with the Crime Chief today, he maintained that he had provided no information with regards to Assanah having a criminal history to the police public relations department, which is responsible for circulating information to the media.
“The family was here just now. I spoke with them and I told them and I’m saying it again. In our Public Relations Department release, when I fortified the PR department with the information, I gave information as it relates to what is known about Errol Adams and what is known about Dextroy Cordis but at the time when I gave that information, there weren’t any information that I knew about previous records of involvement of Assanah with the police. I have never mentioned that. So I don’t know how that type of information would have gone in the midst of that. It was no way in terms of my contribution towards the press release,” he explained.
Nevertheless, he assured INews that he intends to follow up with the police public relations department to ascertain how the information pinning Assanah as a “known character to police” was retrieved.
Aside from this, Williams was quoted in the media asserting that the officers were justified in their actions of taking down Assanah, 46-year-old Cordis also known as Dutty, of Grove, East Bank Demerara, and 57-year-old Adams also known as Dynamite of Dartmouth, Essequibo Coast and Buxton, East Coast Demerara during an alleged exchange of gunfire with police.
According to the police press statement on the killings, at around 10:30hrs yesterday, on Robb Street, ranks of an anti-crime patrol unit, in an unmarked vehicle, acting on intelligence information, began following another motorcar that two “suspicious looking characters” were reportedly travelling in.
As the ranks continued to observe, the suspected criminals led them [police] to the Kingston Seawall where an individual who had reportedly left a city bank, had parked his motorcar.
At that time, the law enforcement officials who were on the stakeout noticed the two individuals- later identified as Cordis and Assanah, exiting their motorcar and approaching the customer’s vehicle.
One of the men was reportedly armed with a gun.
“At the same time the police anti-crime patrol, which by now was in close proximity called out to the suspicious looking characters but the one who was armed discharged several rounds at the police who returned fire,” police explained in a statement.
As such, the reported exchange of gunfire resulted in the two men being killed.
Police then detailed that seconds after that initial exchange of gunshots, another pair of males were observed on a CG motorcycle in close proximity to the motorcar in which the deceased men were travelling in.
One of the two persons on the motorcycle reportedly discharged several rounds at the police who again returned fire.
This second exchange resulted in the third person, Adams, being mortally wounded. He subsequently died.
His accomplice reportedly sped away on the motorcycle.
At the scene, a 9mm Pistol along with a magazine containing seven live rounds and four spent shells were found next to Cordis’ body.
The motorcar which was driven by the now deceased Assanah was searched and police found one driver’s licence, ten passports belonging to the deceased and his family members, a key used by “trunkers”, two handcuff keys, a bandana and clothing.