Aug 15, 2020 News
Police shooting of unarmed men….
Two policemen were yesterday remanded to prison for the alleged murder of Cecil Sampat, 39, one of the unarmed victims who was shot in a car on Mandela Avenue last month.
Sampat died on August 05th, while receiving treatment for multiple gunshot wounds he had sustained.
At around 10:00hrs, Corporal Godwin Thomas and Constable Troy Munroe arrived at the Georgetown Magistrate Court in shackles and headed to Court One where they appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann Mclennan.
At approximately 13:00hrs the cops were read the charge of murder.
They were not required to plead to the indictable charge which alleged that on July 25th, 2020, Thomas and Munroe wrongfully shot Sampat who was unarmed at the time, causing his death.
The policemen were remanded to prison and the matter was adjourned until August 21, 2020.
According to information given to this media house, Munroe and Thomas were among three officers who were re-arrested recently.
The ranks were previously arrested with 17 others on July 26th, after an investigation was launched into the shooting of Sampat and Winston Frazer, 28. Sampat has since died and Frazer will most likely not walk again for the remainder of his life.
He (Frazer) is still at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) receiving treatment for bullet fragments in his spine. His life is also limbo since doctors had told him that he has a 50% chance of survival should he undergo surgery.The unarmed victims were travelling with two other friends in a car which Frazer was driving, when the officers opened fire on them at D’Uurban Street and Mandela Avenue.
The ranks had traced the car from a location in Agricola, East Bank Demerara (EBD).
Sources close to the investigation had said that the officers claimed that the occupants fired at them first.
One of the occupants, Seon Greenidge, who had escaped unhurt, had told Kaieteur News that this was not true.
He did, however, say that while passing Houston they had noticed the officers following them. He declined to speak on behalf of Frazer (driver) but speculated that it might have been because they were under the influence of alcohol and also breaking the COVID-19 restriction measures.
Greenidge even alleged that they were beaten by the officers although Sampat and Frazer were shot.
He claimed, as well, that one of the ranks had shot Sampat in the leg while he was lying on the ground wounded.
The ranks had also swabbed the men’s hands for gunpowder residue and searched the car for a firearm but did not find anything illegal in their possession.
Without a firearm to corroborate their statements the ranks were placed under close arrest.
The investigation had gone cold for a while and was recently reignited after the death of Sampat.
A ‘special team’ was established and took over the investigation. The team began its work from the Eve Leary Headquarters on August 8th. They re-examined the evidence, reviewed video footage, and re-read statements taken from all parties involved.
As a result three ranks were re-arrested and a file was prepared and sent to the Department of Public Prosecution (DPP) for advice.
A murder charge was later recommended for two of the officers. The third is scheduled to be released on open arrest as investigations continue.
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