Seawall shooting: Security Minister says he is ‘on the side of the Police Commissioner’

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Public Security Minister, Khemraj Ramjattan stands in solidarity with the statements by the Acting Police Commissioner, David Ramnarine- and by extension, the Guyana Police Force (GPF)- as it relates to the shooting incident on the Kingston Seawalls on March 15, 2018, which led to the death of three alleged bandits.

Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan

“I am on the side of the Police Commissioner. I believe his version and what transpired is the truthful version,” he told reporters during an interview at the sidelines of an event on Wednesday.

Probed to explain the grounds on which he was backing the GPF’s version of events which led to the death of 46-year old Dextroy “Dutty” Cordis of Grove, East Bank Demerara, Kwame Assanah of Buxton, East Coast Demerara and 57-year old Errol “Dynamite” Adams of Dartmouth, Essequibo Coast and Buxton, East Coast Demerara, without a Coroner’s inquest being conducted Ramjattan said “their credibility and reliability.”

He also posited that backing the GPF was “what you [Government] normally do.”

“… any good responsible government will attach some credibility and reliability to the police investigators and that’s how it is. That’s the routine thing unless there is something so badly done or so egregious that you are going to question the police immediately… I don’t want us to start demoralising our policemen because there is an extraordinarily negative that can happen and I am going to support my policemen until such time as they have been proven to have done something wrong” the Public Security Minister explained.

Reporters were also told that following the receipt of three eyewitness statements from Attorney, Nigel Hughes, which reportedly contradicts that of the GPF’s, the matter will be forwarded to the Department of Public Prosecutions and then it is likely that a Coroner’s inquest will be ordered.

On the day of the incident, the GPF in a statement said that the three alleged bandits were shot after they were trailed by police as they were following a customer who had just withdrawn a sum of cash from a city bank.

However, one week after, a self proclaimed eyewitness identified as Devon Lyte, claimed, in the presence of his attorney, Hughes that the police version of the story was incorrect. 

He said that he was working on the roof of the Softball Association of Guyana’s ground on Carifesta Avenue when he observed police ambushing the three men, beating on of them, and then executing them at close range.

Acting Commissioner Ramnarine in a subsequent conference said that the ‘eyewitness’ was never on the roof of the Guyana Softball Association on Carifesta Avenue, as he claimed, since they were in possession of statements from the Contractor, one from the Sub-Contractor and one from the Security Supervisor stating otherwise.

Moreover, since then, police have called for Lyte to be interrogated by investigators. This has not happened.

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