Alex Griffith, the 15-year-old who was shot in his mouth by a policeman after being detained for questioning about a robbery, has been left with a hole in his tongue and a gaping wound at the back of his throat.
As a result of his injuries, Griffith has so far been unable to give a statement to police who are investigating the shooting.
Crime Chief Leslie James told Stabroek News yesterday that while the boy is yet to give the police a statement, a statement was taken from his mother, Marcel Griffith.
Meanwhile, Stabroek News was told that Griffith’s alleged shooter, a cadet officer attached to ‘C’ Division, remains under close arrest.
Marcel Griffith said police officials visited her son yesterday at the Georgetown Public Hospital (GPH), where he is an admitted patient, in an effort to speak to him, but because of his painful wounds he remains inaudible. She told this newspaper that she is hoping her son regains his speech and for the lawman responsible for shooting him to be brought to justice.
Marcel Griffith had told Stabroek News that her nightmare started on Wednesday night when she heard police ranks calling for ‘Caveman,’ which is an alias by which her son is known. Subsequently, three ranks entered her yard and eventually explained that they wanted information from him about the robbery of a relative of the police rank who has been accused of the shooting.
She further mentioned that Alex told the officers that he had been at a neighbour’s house watching a movie when the robbery supposedly occurred. However, one of the officers, the woman said, insisted in a loud tone of voice that the boy knew about the robbery and demanded he leave with them. The angry mother said as she returned into her house to retrieve a top to accompany Alex to the station, the police had already exited the yard with her son.
She said, “I run and go behind he” and added “when they [the police and Alex] reach by the bridge, a police in brown clothes pull out he gun and lash he (Alex) in he belly.” Sometime later, Alex and the ranks ended up in the back yard of the neighbour he claimed he had been at when the robbery was said to have been committed. It was in that yard that Alex received a sound beating, Marcel said, adding that after her son cried out in pain she made an attempt to rescue him but was restrained by the other policemen present.
Marcel said that in spite of the other ranks asking the lawman to release the lad, whose face was swollen after the beating, the officer ordered them to throw Alex into the police van. She said, the ranks did the officer’s bidding and they informed her that she could collect her son at the Brickdam Police Station.
“When I coming back here [home] now,” Marcel recounted, “I hear a shot fire off—blam!” She later got confirmation that her son had indeed been shot when she received a call from a nurse from GPH.