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No charges in Gouyave shooting

Attorney-at-law Jerry Edwin – not surprised at the decision

The Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) will take no action against the Corporal of Police who was involved in the July 5 Gouyave shooting incident which injured a popular footballer in the leg and resulted in a day of unrest in the island’s major fishing village.

This was disclosed Wednesday to THE NEW TODAY newspaper by Attorney-at-law Jerry Edwin who has been retained by the family to look after their affair in the incident.

According to Edwin, the police communicated with the family that following their own investigation into the incident, it was determined that the shooting was justified.

He said that he is in the process of writing to Acting Commissioner of Police, Edvin Martin to get a copy of their investigative report in light of the decision not to lay charges against the officer involved in the shooting.

“They decided that the shooting was justified and that they will take no action against the police officer,” he remarked.

“I am not surprised at the results. The writing was on the wall – this is what the police would do,” he said.

24-year old Jamal was shot in the upper portion of his leg by a Corporal of Police when a party of police officers arrived at their home in search of an elder brother who was wanted for questioning in connection with an alleged criminal offence.

Jamal’s mother and a female police officer were involved in an alleged physical confrontation when the Corporal reportedly drew his service weapon and fired a single bullet that struck the footballer.

Angry residents in Gouyave took to the streets in protest action including the burning of objects as they called for justice for the young footballer who is regarded as a role model in the village.

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Edwin reiterated earlier calls for the creation of an independent body to conduct an investigation of the sort since the police should not be allowed to investigate their own in such situations.

The attorney-at-law who is specialised in criminal law raised questions about the advice that was given to the police on the matter by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

According to Edwin, he did not know if the legal opinion was done at the Office of the DPP by Senior Crown Counsel, Howard Pinnock who initially had carriage of the matter or Crown Counsel Chrisann Greenidge who replaced him in controversial circumstances.

“I don’t know if they (RGPF) went against what the DPP recommended. These people (are) playing games here in Grenada,” he said.

The attorney pointed out that this decision taken by the police not to lay charges against the officer involved in the shooting flies in the face of the Gouyave community who came out in numbers to show support and call for justice for the young footballer.

“They (the police) don’t want to give a victory to the people of Gouyave – that is how they see it,” he said.

Within days of the shooting, Edwin announced that he plans to file a civil lawsuit against the Corporal of Police in an effort to seek compensation for his client.

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