Linden shooting deaths…Top Cop wants eyewitnesses to step forward
- says ballistic tests now being conducted
One month after the shooting death of three Linden protesters, Commissioner of Police (ag), Leroy Brumell, is appealing to eyewitnesses to “just come forward and say what you saw.”
“We can have this investigation completed as long as these eyewitnesses come forward. At this time I am appealing to them… if you saw what happened just come forward and say what you saw. Nobody is going to harass them,”
Brumell told reporters yesterday.
The Top Cop revealed that statements have already been taken from ranks who were on the ground when the fatal shootings occurred, and said that his investigators are now awaiting statements from Linden eyewitnesses to wrap up investigations.
On July 18, as Lindeners protested the hike in electricity tariffs, three male protesters were shot.
Several demonstrators were also injured, including women. Reports are that shots were fired by police ranks deployed in the community to maintain order.
Further reports suggested that live rounds were used during the shooting. However, Brumell yesterday commented that reports reaching him were that the police only used “tear smoke and pellets.”
Asked if the live rounds reportedly discharged could have been from the lawmen’s guns, the Top Cop responded, “I can’t say; our weapons are being examined.”
Brumell revealed that several attempts have been made to locate Linden eyewitnesses. However, “they have not been forthcoming.”
“We’ve gotten all the statements from the Police ranks. We are now trying to get the statements from the persons who saw.”
“Investigators are trying to get the persons (eyewitnesses) through a reputable lawyer, but this has been to no avail so far.”
According to Brumell, had it not been for those outstanding reports from eyewitnesses, the file would have already been sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for advice.
The commissioner said that investigating ranks tried going to homes in an attempt to hear from eyewitnesses.
Brumell stated that the force does not want to send forth a report with only statements from the police “we have to be impartial.”
He opined that Lindeners are “probably waiting for the inquiry.”
Asked what investigators will resort to if eyewitnesses do not step forward, Brumell said that they will be then forced to do an interim report.
However he stressed that “we don’t have to get the whole of Linden, just a few who saw what occurred.”
When questioned about reports that groups might block East Coast thoroughfares today in protest over the shootings at Linden, the top cop stated that “we should let good sense prevail.”
He asserted that it is “aching” that some of the leaders who “rile up” citizens are scared.
“They’re just going forward riling up the people and they who are riling it up are not there. If you are a leader, stand up with the people. They are not leaders, they are scared. If you are saying, hey, tomorrow block the road, you must be there with the people.”
Brumell expressed similar sentiments as it relates to the fatal shooting at Linden “they just rile up the people and gone.”
In relation to any possible attempts at blockades today, Brumell said that the force would “have to deal with it. We are in a joint services mode. If the occasion arrives, we have to deal with it.”
Kaieteur News contacted police sources from the East Coast division who confirmed that they have noted the call for road blockage by leaders who spoke at a recent meeting in that vicinity.
Sources further disclosed that a divisional meeting was held and assured that systems are in place in the case of any eventuality.