President Dr Irfaan Ali, this morning during a virtual press conference from New York, committed to meeting with the family of Orin Boston – who was shot and killed by the Guyana Police Force’s SWAT Unit on September 15.
The President, who is in New York attending the United Nations General Assembly, made the commitment in response to a question from the media as to the call for an independent investigation into the incident.
“Our philosophy is engagement and I will be engaging the family,” the Head of State said, adding that the community will also be engaged.
Boston, of Hoppy Street Dartmouth, Essequibo Coast, Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam), was shot by SWAT officers during a search of his home at about 04:40h on September 15. Boston was reportedly shot with a .223 calibre rifle, which is the standard weapon issued to the SWAT team.
However, as word of Boston’s death spread in the community, angry friends, relatives and villagers took to the streets to vent their disapproval. They hauled fallen trees, old tyres and derelict cars to the middle of the main access road and began their fiery protest. This lasted for several days.
They demanded justice and answers from the Police as to what intelligence they possessed that caused them to enter the dead man’s home.
Police Commissioner Nigel Hoppie and Crime Chief Wendell Blanhum has visited the family and promised to leave no stone unturned as they ordered an independent probe by the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR).
The Top Cop also stated that the SWAT officer who fired the fatal shot has since been placed under close arrest as the investigation continues.
At a press conference hours after the shooting, Police Commissioner Nigel Hoppie indicated that Boston was killed as a result of intelligence gathered for an anti-crime operation. He could not say what the Police were searching for when they entered the home of the bar owner.
Crime Chief Wendell Blanhum told reporters that Boston had never been prosecuted by the Police.
An autopsy performed on the body of Boston revealed that he died as a result of haemorrhage and shock due to gunshot injuries to the chest. Dr Nehaul Singh, who conducted the post mortem, also stated that a single warhead was removed from Boston’s body.
This contradicts the first report by the Police, which stated that the now dead businessman was shot to his arm following a confrontation with the SWAT team. Following the report, Boston’s wife had refuted the claim that there had been a confrontation on the morning of the deadly shooting. In fact, she related that he was in his bed when he was shot and killed.