Man killed by cop’s stray bullet in Suriname mayhem

(De Ware Tijd) PARAMARIBO – “Within two or three minutes, the police units present at the scene were suddenly faced with two to three hundred people and the average policeman is not prepared for that. It was a split-second decision and the policemen made a mistake,” a leading police officer tells DWT about the incident that took place at Saramaccastraat on Saturday morning. The average policeman is not trained to keep order at scenes of such major incidents. Not the individual policeman, but the entire police force is responsible for the wrong handling of the incident, during which a man was fatally hit by a stray bullet. The police officer regrets the death of the innocent man, but does not speak of punishing the policeman involved, however, who should be supported at a time like this. There are special units that are mobilized for situations like this, but the mobilization left much to be desired. According to the officer, no one could have foreseen that the situation would escalate that quickly. It all started when a shopkeeper and a customer had a dispute about some change. The shopkeeper then wounded the customer with a machete. Other customers in the shop then tried to attack the shopkeeper. Police arrived not long afterwards and took the shopkeeper into custody, while the wounded customer was taken to hospital. Police closed the store, as many curious people had gathered at the entrance in the meantime and were threatening the shopkeeper. Police soon managed to get the shopkeeper into a car, but the bystanders wanted revenge anyway and started attacking the car. They also threw stones at other police cars and policemen. The shopkeeper was taken away, but the crowd ran after the car. A policeman who was standing nearby then fired some gunshots, and a stray bullet hit a bystander, who died soon afterwards.

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