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…says police report on shooting contrary to evidence
The late Earl Graham, a 51-year-old man who was sentenced to prison for three months for malicious wounding, was expected to be released a week after he was shot dead during a riot at the Lusignan Penitentiary back in September. His family is seeking justice as they have alleged that the post mortem report, photographic evidence and the report from other prisoners show that Graham did not die in the manner as reported by the Police.
On Wednesday, the Opposition, during the 14th Sitting of the National Assembly is expected to debate a motion put forward which calls for a Commission of Inquiry (COI) in to the death of Graham. At a press conference prior, Leader of the Opposition, Joseph Harmon updated the public on the intent of the motion.
“This basically requires that a thorough investigation be done. What has happened is that there are different versions of what took place and it would appear that the version which is produced by the police and by the Ministry of Home Affairs is casting a different light on the sequence of events which led to the death of Mr. Graham and we want to ensure that the correct conclusions are drawn and that those persons who are criminally responsible for the death of Mr. Graham, that they be so pointed out and be held to account for their actions,” he said.
He underscored that a COI would also bring a transparent conclusion to the matter which would assure the public that there are not rouge elements operating the prison system or alleged Government cover-ups.
Seated alongside him were the sister of Graham, Janice Williams and brother-in-law, Collin Williams. They’ve relayed that Graham was a well-behaved prisoner. Janice is displeased that the Ministry of Home Affairs has made no effort to follow up with the family about the shooting or to provide answers to their questions.
“We’ve never received any report; we’ve never received any call. It’s three months since my bother has passed away and its very much heartbreaking that nobody called us to tell us nothing,” she said teary-eyed. Graham also leaves to mourn his daughter and five grandchildren.
According to the police’s account, on the day the prisoners became riotous, some began scaling the inner fence of the Holding Bay, thus entering the restricted area, and launching attacks on the prison officers within the compound who had to flee to safety.
After the officers left the main compound, the situation rapidly deteriorated into mass disorder with inmates rushing the main gate in a bid to break same. According to the police, in a bid to contain same, ranks posted within the towers discharged several shots in the general direction of the gate which resulted in the injury of seven inmates and restoration of relative calm to the situation.
Following the return to order, the injured prisoners were extracted and initially attended to by medical personnel on the ground, after which two were sent for further treatment at the Georgetown Public Hospital. Three inmates continued to be attended to at the Lusignan facility while two were pronounced dead.