Agricola fatal shooting…Decision from DPP expected today – Top Cop
The policemen implicated in the killing of Agricola teen Shaquille Grant will know today whether they will face charges related to his death.
This is the word from Commissioner of Police (ag) Leroy Brumell, who reassured last evening that “by tomorrow” (today), a decision will be made about the case, which has caused outrage, and has been described by many as an extra-judicial killing.
The incident stirred up even more controversy after the ranks accused of killing Grant took the unusual step of refusing to participate in an identification parade.
The Top Cop also confirmed that this had occurred, but noted that the ranks had acted within the law when they did so.
“They could refuse (to participate); we have civilians who refuse to participate in identification parades,” Brumell added, when asked if the lawmen’s stance would set a precedent among civilians.
A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) Member of Parliament, Attorney-at-law Basil Williams yesterday said that it was the first time he’s hearing of officers refusing to go on an identification parade.
Earlier in the week, four men who were with Grant at the time – Troy Greenidge, Jamal Henry, Nicholas Eastman and Romel Bollers – turned up at the Brickdam Police Station for an ID parade only to be told that the officers involved in the shooting were not cooperating. According to Williams, it was the first time that he had heard of something like this and he is very amused by the explanation given by the Top Cop, adding that it “could not hold water”.
“If the Commissioner of Police says that there is an investigation and as a part of it an identification parade needs to done, I really don’t see how they (ranks) could stand up and say they are not following that order,” Williams stressed.
The lawyer said in his opinion an identification parade is not needed, since the boys saw the policemen.
“First thing, the parade is done really in the sense when someone has a fleeting glance, but not when the boys were looking straight at the police.” He said that the youths have already identified the lawmen.
Another senior legal official said that the lawmen’s refusal to participate in the line-up could work to their disadvantage.
“It would be to their detriment if they refused, because the conclusion could be drawn they are guilty.” The official also suggested that the ranks could face disciplinary action for their stance. He added that the alleged perpetrators should be easily identifiable, since the incident occurred in daylight.
Yet another prominent legal figure said that the ranks had not broken the law in refusing to participate in the ID parade.
“You can refuse; nothing can compel you to give evidence against yourself. It’s not part of your duty to go on a parade.”
Last Wednesday, residents of the Agricola community joined family and friends of the men in a picketing exercise at Police Headquarters, Eve Leary, calling on the Police Commissioner, Leroy Brumell, to charge the policemen. Relatives also protested outside State House, the Prime Minister’s residence, Freedom House and the Brickdam Police Station.
According to one resident, Grant was the victim of police high-handedness, especially when it came to dealing with youths in the village of Agricola.
One woman who lives in the yard where the shooting took place said that the police “came in shooting”. She said she heard gunshots and later saw the young men lying on the ground.
The woman, who asked not to be named, claimed that one officer shot Grant and later asked “you ain’t dead yet” before firing another shot. She alleged that it was after the 17-year-old was shot that the police proceeded to search the men.