Sep 16, 2021 News
– Cop under close arrest
Kaieteur News – Major unrest erupted yesterday at Dartmouth, Essequibo, Region Two, after ranks from the Special Weapons and Tactical Service Unit (SWAT) invaded the home of an Essequibo businessman and shot him dead in his bed.
The dead man was identified as Orin Boston, 29, the proprietor of ‘Ease Meh Stress’ Bar. Boston, according to investigators, was shot dead around 04:40hrs.
Yesterday, Commissioner of Police, Nigel Hoppie, said an investigation into the shooting death of Boston by one of his ranks is in progress. He related too that the cop who fired the bullet that killed the businessman is under close arrest.
Speaking on the matter, the Top Cop detailed that the Boston was shot and killed during a joint operation between the SWAT Unit and members of the Anti-Crime Patrol on the Essequibo Coast. The Commissioner added that the operation was geared at unearthing ‘prohibited’ items.
When asked by members of the press if anything illicit was found at Boston’s Dartmouth home, the Commissioner said no.
Adding a bit more clarity on the issue, Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of police operations, Clifton Hicken, said that the SWAT team was dispatched from the GPF’s headquarters located at Eve Leary in Georgetown and had arrived in Essequibo on Tuesday. They reportedly began their operation around 02:00hrs.
According to Hicken, they were sent to the area based on intel the Force had received. However with regards to what led them to invade Boston’s home and a few other homes along the Essequibo Coast, Hicken said that he, the Top Cop and the Crime Chief, Wendell Blanhum, were not briefed on those details.
Blanhum noted, however, that he has learnt that during the SWAT team’s operations yesterday morning, two murder suspects were arrested at Onderneeming and two others were detained for another offence.
These suspects were reportedly picked up before they invaded Boston’s home at Dartmouth.
In a statement, the Guyana Police Force (GPF) stated that during the invasion, the ranks had a confrontation with Boston which led to him being shot.
His family members however are adamant that there was no confrontation between Boston and the ranks. They claimed that ranks had barged into Boston’s room and shot him to his arm while he was lying on his bed.
Moreover, the relatives had called for the Force to retract its statement. Boston’s wife had told reporters too that there was no confrontation and posited that it might just be an allegation made by the ranks to cover-up their wrongdoing.
According to her version of the events, her husband came home around 04:00hrs. that morning, took a shower and headed straight for his room to sleep. A few moments later, the ranks invaded their home without any explanation and went straight to her husband’s room and shot him.
They reportedly tried to revive him after shooting him, but, according to the grieving woman, it appeared as though her husband was already dead. At the Suddie Public Hospital, where ranks rushed Boston, a doctor pronounced him dead on arrival.
After learning of his death, residents staged a protest by blocking roads with burning tyres and other debris during which they demanded justice for what they described as the wrongful killing of the businessman by the police ranks.
Following the unrest, Commissioner Hoppie and Crime Chief Blanhum visited the scene and met with the dead man’s relatives. They also spoke with
the protestors in hope of restoring peace.
In one of the videos released by the GPF’s Corporate Communications Unit (CCU), Hoppie was seen trying to comfort the dead man’s relatives and appease the angry residents of Dartmouth.
He was heard saying “I know that this community ought to be a friend of the police, because I know that we are a friend of the community.
So when these things happen (the shooting) it tends to separate us and we don’t want that.”
As he along with Blanhum approached the road blocks, protestors could be heard shouting “you gon kill a man jussa” while another could be heard wailing “why dem kill we nephew?”
Commissioner Hoppie has since vowed that a thorough investigation into the shooting incident will be conducted by the Force’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR).
Opposition Leader, Joseph Harmon, and opposition Members of Parliament have since issued statements calling for an independent investigation in order to bring satisfaction to Boston’s family members.The Top Cop has assured that an independent probe will be done. During the press conference yesterday, Hoppie expounded that the investigations into the matter will be completed within the shortest possible time, and ranks found accountable for the shooting will be answerable.
Up to press time yesterday Essequibo police along with the Fire Service were working to bring an end to the protest action and have the Dartmouth Public Road cleared.
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