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Lawsuit filed against police officer in shooting incident

Attorney-at-law Jerry Edwin – filed civil lawsuit on behalf of his client

Four months after 24-year old popular Gouyave footballer, Jamal Charles was shot by the police, attorney-at-law Jerry Edwin has filed a civil lawsuit against the Corporal of Police who fired the bullet from the gun which inflicted the wound.

Edwin filed the case on November 5 at the Supreme Court Registry against Cpl. Sheldon Garcia, Acting Commissioner of Police, Edvin Martin and Attorney General, Guyanese Darshan Ramdhani.

The move comes weeks after a police investigation into the shooting exonerated the police officer of any wrongdoing in the incident.

The shooting of the footballer, referred to as the “Pride and Joy” of St. John sparked off angry protest in Gouyave with residents throwing debris and missiles in the street in support of the Charles family.

Jamal was shot as a police party attempted to enter the family home in search of his elder brother who was wanted for questioning in connection with an alleged infringement of the law.

As a public service, THE NEW TODAY reproduces in full the lawsuit filed by Attorney Edwin:

STATEMENT OF CLAIM

  1. The Claimants are and were at all material times members of a family which reside at Langton Road in the parish of St. John in the State of Grenada.
  2. The First Claimant is 24 years and a national footballer representing the State of Grenada in national, regional and international competitions. The Second Claimant is aged 41 years old and is the brother of the First Claimant and the Third Claimant is the mother of the first and second Claimant.
  3. The First Defendant is a Corporal of Police and a servant of the Second Defend ant. The Second Defendant has overall command and superintendence of the Royal Grenada Police Force and its members, pursuant to the Police Act Cap. 244 of the 2010 Edition of the Continuous Revised Laws of Grenada, and is the principal of the First Defendant. The Third Defendant is being joined in a representative capacity pursuant to the provisions of the Crown Proceedings Act Cap 74 of the 2010 Edition of the Continuous Revised Laws of Grenada.
  4. On the morning of Sunday 5th July 2020 at about 6:15 a.m. the Claimants were at home in their residence at Langton Street aforesaid when a contingent of police officers turned up and entered the compound of the Claimants residence.
  5. A female member of the contingent sought to enter the premises in which the Claimants reside when she was confronted by the Second Claimant who protested at the attempted force entry into her home by the Police.
  6. Immediately after the Second Claimant confronted the female police officer, the First Claimant and the Third Claimant emerged from the house unarmed and in a non­aggressive manner inquiring what was happening.

7.Immediately upon the First Claimant and the Third Claimant alighting from inside the home as aforesaid, and without any warning, the First Defendant intentionally pointed his pistol at the Claimants and discharged it hitting the First Claimant with a 9 mm hollow projectile in the area of the upper thigh in the presence of the Second Defendant and the Third Defendant.

8.Upon being shot the First Claimant fell at the feet of the Second Claimant and Third Claimant and began bleeding profusely.

  1. After the First Claimant was shot the contingent of police officers neglected to provide any assistance to the First Claimant. They immediately withdrew leaving the First Claimant bleeding on the ground and the Second and Third Claimants bawling in grief.
  2. As a result of the intentional act of the First Defendant, the First Claimant suffered personal injury and the Second Claimant and Third Claimant suffered psychiatric nervous shock as a result of which they have suffered loss and damage and incurred expenses.
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Particulars of injury of the First Claimant

  1. Gunshot wound to Right Thigh. Metallic densities in the proximal to mid-thigh, predominately at the posterior aspect highly suggestive of bullet fragments associated subcutaneous emphysema. Small soft tissue haematoma at site of in jury at the proximal to mid medial thigh;

Particulars of Psychiatric Nervous Shock of the Second Claimant & Third Claimant

  1. The Second Claimant is the mother of the First Claimant. She endured the experience of seeing her son shot right in front of her bleeding profusely from the gunshot and abandoned by those who shot him.
  2. The Third Claimant is the brother of the First Claimant. He suffered the shock of having a gun pointed at him and almost simultaneously seeing his brother standing next to him shot.

Particulars of Special Damages

  1. The Claimant Jamal Charles incurred expenses including hired automobile fares for 8 (Eight) round trips from the hospital and medical doctors and returning to his home in Gouyave, St. John at $200.00 per trip. The Claimant also incurred medical expenses for prescribed medicines, for bandages and dressing and over the counter analgesics totalling $275.00.

Particulars justifying an award of Vindicatory Damages

15.The contingent of police officers entered on the residence of the Claimant without a warrant.

  • The contingent of police refused, neglected or otherwise failed to provide any or any meaningful medical assistance to the First Claimant and the First Defendant shot him.
  • The shooting discharge of the weapon by the First Defendant was without justification whatsoever. There was no threat made by any of the Claimants and all the Claimants were unarmed and within their residence.
  • The First Claimant was shot with a hollow point bullet The First Claimant is a national footballer and basketball player.
  1. Better particulars of the injury suffered by the First Claimant are provided in the medical reports of Dr. Justin La Rose and Dr. Linwald Fleary which is served with this Statement of Claim.

AND the Claimants claims:

i. In the case of the First Claimant, special, general and vindicatory damages for personal injury resulting from a gunshot inflicted on his upper right tight by the First Defendant on Sunday 5th July 2020 at his home in Langton Road aforesaid.

II. In the case of the of the Second Claimant and Third Claimant, general and indicatory damages for assault with a deadly weapon and psychiatric nervous shock suffered when the First Defendant aimed a 9mm pistol in their direction and fired a shot causing injury to and spilling of blood from the First Claimant in the presence of the Second Claimant and Third Claimant. AND further in the case of all three Claimants

AND further in the case of all three Claimants

III. Interest at such rate and for such period on the sum awarded as this Honourable Court may determine pursuant to its powers under Section 27 of The West Indies Associated States Supreme Court (Grenada) Act, Cap. 336 of the 2010 Edition of the Continuous Revised Laws of Grenada.

iv. Such further and/ or other relief as this Honourable Court deems just.

v. Costs

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