“Police killing should never occur” – Benn tells Dartmouth family

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Days after businessman Orin Boston was fatally shot by members of the SWAT Unit during an anti-crime operation at his home, Home Affairs Minister Robeson Benn visited the grieving family at their Dartmouth, Essequibo Coast, Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam) home on Monday.

He was accompanied by several senior regional officials. Whilst there, he expressed disappointment at the tragic incident and assured the family that the Government is committed to having an impartial investigation done.

“Loss of life never helps,” Minister Benn told the relatives. However, the now dead man’s father during his emotional interaction with the Minister, expressed his profound grief at the passing of his son and promised that he would hold the peace until justice is served.

The family members asked for a speedy investigation, so that they can ascertain the motive behind the incident and also to have closure. In addition, the family urged for the Guyana Police Force to provide more training sessions for ranks, so as to avoid any such reoccurrence.

Following the visit, Benn held a meeting with senior officials from the region where he urged the Police Commander of the Division, Superintendent Denise Griffith along with the Regional Chairman and Vice Chairman to provide support and counselling for the family and relatives of Boston.

“Police killing should never occur. Only in extreme circumstances where a Police life is in danger or in a bid to save civilian lives. Our method should only occur as a process of lawful approaches,” he told those at the meeting.

It was reported that as word of Boston’s death spread in the community, angry friends, relatives and villagers took to the streets. They hauled fallen trees, old tyres and cars to the middle of the main access road and began their fiery protest. This lasted for several days.

They demanded justice and answers from the Police as to what intelligence they possessed that caused them to enter the dead man’s home.
Police Commissioner Nigel Hoppie and Crime Chief Wendell Blanhum has visited the family and promised to leave no stone unturned as they ordered an independent probe by the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR).

The Top Cop also stated that the SWAT officer who fired the fatal shot has since been placed under close arrest as the investigation continues.

At a press conference hours after the shooting, Police Commissioner Nigel Hoppie indicated that Boston was killed as a result of intelligence gathered for an anti-crime operation. He could not say what the Police were searching for when they entered the home of the bar owner.

Crime Chief Wendell Blanhum told reporters that Boston had never been prosecuted by the Police.