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…says statement issued by police irreparably damaged the confidence in the Force
The family of Junior Orin Boston, who was fatally shot by a member of the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Unit on Wednesday, is demanding that independent professional investigators, with the appropriate contemporary forensic equipment and training, conduct the investigation into Boston’s death.
“The family of Junior Orin Boston demand an independent investigation into his murder by independent professional investigators with the appropriate contemporary forensic equipment and training,” the family said through their lawyers, Konyo Sandiford and Nigel Hughes
Boston was killed in his home during an anti-crime operation at Dartmouth, Essequibo, Region Two. He was a father of two.
In detailing the sequence of events, the attorneys, in a statement, said between, 4:00hrs and 5:00hrs on Wednesday, September 15, 2021 several heavily armed policemen entered Boston’s home without a warrant while his family was asleep in the bedrooms of their home.
The armed officers first encountered Boston’s daughter, who they removed from the house informing her that they wanted her father. According to the attorneys, three armed officers then kicked open the bedroom door where Boston was lying in bed next his wife unarmed.
“The armed policemen then shot Boston while he was lying in bed with his wife. His wife who was lying next to him thought she would have been shot next,” they said.
After shooting Boston, the police officers removed his body from his bedroom and placed him on a concrete surface outside of the building
“The police officers then left him there and returned to the house where they then conducted a search of his home stating that they were looking for his identification documents. After the search was concluded the police officers placed the body of Mr. Boston in a vehicle and took him to the hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival,” Hughes and Sandiford further detailed.
It noted that the police force left behind the bloodied pillow and bed sheet which confirm the position of Boston at the time of the shooting.
They said without conducting any interview with the witnesses to the shooting, the Guyana Police Force issued a statement contending that there was a confrontation between Boston and officers at the time of the incident.
“The immediate adoption of a hostile position by the Guyana Police Force by attributing to Mr. Boston acts of aggression which are contradicted by both the eye witnesses and the independent evidence discloses patent defenciveness and desire to conceal the true sequence of events,” the lawyers argued.
They added: “This rush to judgment by the Guyana Police Force immediately discloses the inherent biases and predisposition which would render an independent investigation almost impossible.”
Hughes and Sandiford said at a minimum the family would expect that the following basic aspects of an investigation would have been conducted such as the “dusting of the hands of the ranks on duty and the deceased for gun powder residue; examination of all footage from anybody cameras which may have been carried by the police officers; and taking into their possession of the pillow and the bed sheet.
The lawyers said it should be clearly indicated whether a warrant to search Boston’s home was secured and whether any shells, warheads or other components of the projectile were recovered from the crime scene and the location from which it was retrieved.
Further, they want to know on what intelligence did the police act when they determined to search the home of Boston; what exactly, were they looking for; and what were the standard operating procedures deployed when they entered the bedroom of Boston without a warrant.
Additionally, they are seeking details on the trajectory of the bullet and the points of entry and exit of the bullet which killed Boston.
Through their lawyers, the family iterated the need for an independent professional investigation to be done.
The Commissioner of Police (ag) Nigel Hoppie, on Wednesday, assured that the Office of Professional Responsibility will conduct a comprehensive investigation into the shooting, but the Opposition said the police should not be allowed to investigate themselves.