Linden shooting unjustified – Top Cop Brumell

Linden shooting unjustified – Top Cop Brumell

Demerara Waves – Monday, 24 September 2012

 Acting Police Commissioner Leroy Brumell is the first person to be called before the Commission of InquiryActing Police Commissioner Leroy Brumell on Monday stated that the use of lethal force by the police on July 18 at Linden which left three protesters dead was unjustified.He made the statement at the opening of the hearings of the Commission of Inquiry into the shooting as the first witness to present evidence.Brumell was questioned by Commissioner KD Knight who took the Top Cop through the lead up to the shooting and afterward.                     

According to Brumell, prior to the shooting he had instructed the then Division Commander Carl Hicken to talk to the people and try to identify the leaders in order to get them to disperse. He added that he never gave any order approving the use of firearms. Brumell related that the fire order was given by Assistant Superintendent Todd.

Following the shooting Hicken was removed from his post. Brumell told the Commission he was dissatisfied with the handling of the issue and that he had also been directed by Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee to have him moved.

According to the top cop, Hicken was a “short man with a hot temper.” Todd was also removed from the division following reports they got, Brumell stated.

The acting Commissioner was also adamant in stating that he received no order from Rohee on how to deal with the Linden protest pointing out that he was “solely” in charge of force operations.”

Brumell told the hearing that half a unit of Tactical Services Unit ranks was sent to Linden from Georgetown to supplement the forces there because they received intelligence that there would be heavy disturbance during the march.

Earlier he had told the Commissioners  that police were pelted with bottles and bricks and had reportedly heard explosions.

Shemroy Bouyea, Allan Lewis and Ron Somerset were killed when police opened fire on a crowd which had gathered on the Mackenzie-Wismar Bridge to protest the government’s move to increase electricity rates in Linden. The protest was intended to last five days but escalated and lasted a month.

The CoI was establlished to probe the July 18 shootings. However, at the opening of Monday’s hearing attorney for the APNU Basil Williams made a submission that the there be a stay of the work of the body so that his party and government could come to an agreement for the inclusion of the events of August 2 and 10 in the terms of reference (TORs) for the Commission.

But Chairman of the COI Justice Lensley Wolfe pointed out that they could not do anything about the TORs and would “embrace” the suggestion until they were advised by those responsible for setting up the body.

Wolfe also dismissed APNU’s objection to the two counsels appointed to the Commission. The party noted that the men were connected to the private chambers of the Attorney General but Wolfe stated that he did not view that as “a serious problem if a problem at all.”

Meanwhile, the AFC’s Nigel Hughes noted that his party had secured the services of a UK-based ballistics expert and sought the Commission’s permission to have him enter evidence and this was granted.

The Commission will be holding hearings from Monday to Friday at the Law Library in the High Court compound from 9.30 AM. Hearings may also be held on Saturdays if deemed necessary.

 Rohee spoke to Commander Hicken prior to Linden shooting – Hughes

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  • wycs  On 09/24/2012 at 6:48 pm

    What is wrong with APNU Basil Williams. re the TORs. This matter was agreed on between the Govt and leader of APNU Mr Granger.

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