Other cops on the radar in shooting of 15-year-old

As police investigations continue into the shooting in the mouth of a 15-year-old by a cadet officer, they say that if breaches are found on the part of other ranks present during the incident they will be charged accordingly.

“We’re at the conclusive aspect of this investigation… all aspects are being looked at that is to say criminal investigation, that is to say criminal implications, also departmental… those who were with him whatever breach occurred we are looking at them,” the Crime Chief Leslie James told reporters yesterday.

Alex Griffith recovering at the Georgetown Public Hospital after being shot in the mouth by a policeman.
Alex Griffith

James informed that ballistics tests have been conducted and have proved that the weapon that discharged the shot was the one in the cadet’s possession. “It was consistent that it was him,” the Crime Chief said.

Further, he pointed out that while the cadet was released from police custody he was confident that the man would not flee the jurisdiction as the police were “in constant contact” with him.

The shot teen, Alex Griffith was yesterday discharged from the Georgetown Public Hospital and his mother told reporters shortly after that she had been offered $1M compensation by a man who said he was the cadet’s attorney.

However, the woman rejected the monies saying that she wanted the police cadet to be charged and to face whatever penalties came with his act.

The woman, her son and activist Mark Benschop yesterday afternoon staged a protest at Eve Leary during the signing ceremony of the US-funded Automated Fingerprint Information System (AFIS) for the Guyana Police Force. Present were Minister of Home Affairs Clement Rohee, Commissioner of Police Seelall Persaud, United States Ambassador Brent Hardt and the Crime Chief among other officers and guests.

Griffith on Monday recounted to Stabroek News how a cadet officer played Russian roulette while grilling him about the identities of suspects in a robbery, eventually shooting him in his mouth.

The boy explained that he had been at a friend’s home around 8 pm last Wednesday evening when a robbery occurred outside.

Though he had been unable to see what had transpired, he said, two van-loads of policemen later went to his East La Penitence Squatting area home to question him about the identities of the robbers.

He had relayed to the ranks that he was unaware of the robbers’ identities. He was nevertheless taken from his home, placed in one of the vehicles, and driven around the area. He told this publication that the vehicle eventually stopped in front of the home of one of the suspected robbers in the East La Penitence area. However, the person was not at home.

Griffith continued that the accused robber’s absence apparently infuriated the cadet officer, who forced him from the police vehicle and ordered him to lie on the ground. The cadet officer, Griffith said, removed all of the bullets from a gun but subsequently replaced one. He then put the gun into the 15-year-old’s mouth.

The cadet officer, he said, continued to press him for the robbers’ identities. After not receiving an answer, the cadet officer pulled the trigger but nothing happened.

Once again, he asked for the identities of the bandits and, when told by Griffith once again that he did not know, he fired a second time. This time, Griffith said, the gun went off.

He said he began to bleed badly from the mouth and one of the accompanying ranks said, “this guy bleeding bad; leh we tek him to the hospital.” He was dropped off at the hospital by the ranks who left shortly afterwards.

He explained he was conscious right until his arrival and subsequent admission into the hospital.




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