One half of the main Parliamentary Opposition, the Alliance For Change (AFC) is calling for an independent probe to be conducted into the fatal shooting of 29-year-old, Dartmouth, Essequibo businessman, Orin Boston, by a member of the Guyana Police Force (GPF)’s Special Weapons and Tactics Unit (SWAT) on Wednesday last.
“The AFC calls for an independent inquiry, preferably from overseas,” AFC Leader, Khemraj Ramjattan said today during a press conference.
Ramjattan, a former Public Security Minister under the A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance for Change (APNU+AFC) government, said that the GPF deviated from standard operating procedures by using SWAT to arrest a citizen.
Boston, according to police, was shot during a confrontation with police, but the man’s wife tells a different tale. She said that her husband was unarmed and was shot while he was in bed. Police have since retrieved bloodied bedsheets from the scene. Guyana Standard understands that the official, who shot Boston, is under close arrest. Following Boston’s death, residents staged protest action along the Dartmouth Public Road, blocking the flow of traffic by burning tyres and debris.
Ramjattan said that the police’s use of SWAT was geared at driving fear into the people of Essequibo, maintaining that the use of the unit was excessive.
“The Alliance for Change finds very unsettling and most disturbing, the obvious violations of operational procedures and outright criminality by members of the Guyana Police Force in Essequibo…AFC condemns the use of SWAT from Georgetown to effect arrests of suspects who are all well known to CID in Essequibo. That use of SWAT was to drive fear and cower ordinary Essequibians…Why these arrests could not have been in the normal course by local (Essequibo) detectives, trained in these matters, is a question that must be answered,” Ramjattan said.