A Dartmouth, Essequibo Coast family is demanding justice after members of the Guyana Police Force’s (GPF) Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Unit fatally shot a 29-year-old businessman.
Dead is Orin Boston who owned the “Ease Meh Stress” bar. He was a father of two children, age 6 and 7.
The GPF released a statement explaining that ranks were conducting an “anti-crime” operation at around 04:00hrs today when a confrontation ensued between them and the businessman.
During the confrontation, police said the businessman was shot to his upper left arm and that he was taken to the Suddie Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
The man’s killing has already triggered massive protests in the village with residents burning tyres and blocking streets, demanding justice.
In an interview with INews, family members recalled the horrifying moment, explaining that the police officers were extremely unprofessional and provided no information to the family.
“These people run in we house this morning, first they come by we and they was like everybody come out with your hands up…they was like everybody come out with your hands in the air, they kick down the door first, kick down we front door, then kick down the other door and was like everybody come out they hands in the air…So, when they come, they just break down this door hay and they shot he,” the businessman’s wife, Feona Boston, explained.
The man’s sister, Latacy Boston, shared a similar story, noting that the police officers did not provide any explanation for being at the house. The sister, who lives in a separate building in the same yard where the incident occurred, explained that she had just woken up when the officers stormed her home.
“So, when I come out the room, they already kick down the door and was inside and they saying “nobody don’t move, nobody don’t move”, sit down there so, I went and I sit down in the chair. So, after I sit in the chair, the SWAT came in the went to my sister’s room door, my mom came out of her room and she was looking at them so, they ask everybody to sit down. So, I tell them could I go for my baby because I leave the baby in the room, they said yes go for the baby and I went and I get my phone and they said “no, no phones, no recording here” then I said “okay” and I eventually come and sit back down in the chair. It was five of them came in the house but they had more on the street, I don’t know how much of them on the street. They were wearing grey suits with black SWAT vests.”
“So, after they came in the house and we sit down they asked who live over deh. I said my brother live over there. So, they leave the house where we was sitting and they went over there. So I get up and I come outside and an officer was standing there with a gun, he said “go back inside, don’t come outside”. So, we end up go back inside and I sit down. Like a minute after, I heard a gunshot and after I heard the gunshot, I see the kids outside, then the wife came to the door…”
“My sister-in-law said she and her husband was in bed, She said he had a bath last night and he go in with his bare towel and he fall asleep with the towel. So, after he fall asleep with the towel, she said she heard the banging on the door, so when they [officers] kick down the room door, he jump up. She said when he jumped up, they shot him in his shoulder, they just shot him. They didn’t find no drugs, no ammunition, no weapon, no nothing they find anything.”
The woman said after her brother was shot, the officers tried to treat the wound at the scene.
“Nobody didn’t say anything. They had no word with us. When I came out, I see they lifting my brother and bringing him out, before they even lift him and bring him out, one of them run through the door and say “the bag, the bag, bring the bag.
“They bring him out, they rest him down there…he was butt naked, they put him down on the floor and after they put him down on the floor, the guy bring back the bag, I don’t know what was in the bag, if it was first aid items, I don’t know.
“So, they bring it back and they wrap his hand, try to put something on his hand and they saying “bring the van, bring the van,” so van back up and they throw him in the back of the van and they gone.”
The sister further posited that when she tried to get answers from the officers, they were rude and unprofessional.
“So, I come outside and I stand here and I said what happened and after I asked them what happened, the first guy, he didn’t answer, the other one say “nothing, nothing”. So, I go and pick up my phone and just raise it up, I didn’t video or anything, cause I was going to make a phone call to my other brother, so when I pick up the phone he said “no recording here, no recording”, and one of them walk and come to me and say “put away that phone”. So, I rest down back the phone on the veranda while they trying to get him into the van.”
“I was traumatised, so after he [a police officer] said “don’t say anything”, and I said “don’t say anything after yall just shoot my f***ing I must not say anything, that’s how it’s supposed to be?”. I said I coming with them, they said nobody is to leave the house. But I jump in my vehicle, which was parked there and I head behind them to Suddie [Hospital],” the woman explained.
“I go and I meet my brother on the bed. I go and I check his skin and after I go and check him, I feel his foot because his foot bottom was already white. The doctor said I can’t be in there, I said “okay”.
The sister said she left the hospital room and sometime after, she received the news that her brother was dead. She contended that police officers did not make contact with the family to provide an explanation or to express condolences.
Police Commissioner (ag) Nigel Hoppie has already ordered the Police Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) commence, immediately, a thorough investigation into this matter.
The GPF is also calling on citizens to desist from the protests and allow for due process to take its course with the ongoing investigations.