– over investigation into Diamond teen’s demise
AS the family of murdered 15-year-old Diamond, East Bank Demerara resident Ricardo Singh patiently awaits their day in court, concerns raised earlier about the police’s handling of the matter have begun to intensify.
Those questions are not only coming from relatives and friends, but also strangers who reportedly witnessed aspects of what transpired on July 9, 2018 at the Soesdyke Public Road residence where the teen and other acquaintances were attending the wedding reception of an immigration officer.
Among those concerns are the taking of statements from two key players who were at the wedding house when the commotion took place. They are Ricardo Boodhoo and Joseph Shiwsaran, two of the dead teen’s friends with whom he went to the wedding house on the night in question.
The Guyana Chronicle spoke with the young men, who have both stated that the police rank who took their statements did not allow them to read them over, nor were the statements read to them by any police rank.
Added to that, one of the young men claimed that at the time his statement was taken, he was still experiencing severe headaches as he was hit in the head with a rum bottle during the wedding-house brawl by one of the guests, who is said to be a close relative of the groom.
He said he was also bleeding, and when he asked to be allowed or accompanied to seek medical attention, the rank who was taking the statement told him that he could not do so at that point, as the investigation was more important.
The youngster said when he was giving his statement, he indicated to the rank taking it that he could not focus, given the excruciating pain in his head, and that was having a hard time remembering everything that took place earlier that night.
The other young man said he, too, had a statement taken from him and not read to him, but was nevertheless asked to append his signature to whatever the police rank wrote on the multiple papers he was asked to sign.
He also said that at the time his statement was being taken, he was still in hospital and under medication, with machines connected all over his body. He also had a tube in his side draining a wound he’d sustained during the wedding-house brawl.
One of the two youngsters has also indicated that since the incident, they have not heard from the police in relation to the matter; not even to ask their help in identifying any the many suspects they’ve claimed to have picked up for questioning.
Both are of the view that if persons were picked up for questioning in the killing of the young man, then they who were there on the scene should have been contacted to help identify them.
The Guyana Chronicle also spoke with three individuals at Soesdyke on Tuesday morning, who, though they gave recorded interviews, asked that their names not be mentioned.
One indicated that he was at home when he heard a vehicle stop in front of his gap, and upon going outside to see what was happening,he saw that it was a red open-back vehicle with a Community Policing Group logo on its side.
The man said: “I asked them what happen and the guy who was out of the van turned to me and say, ‘This guy behaving bad at the wedding house, so we carrying he to the station to lock him up, but he jump off the van and gone running.’
“So I said, ‘Gone running? Where?’ And he pointed in the direction of the wedding house. But when I look, I did not see anybody running, so I said, ‘No, man; this thing don’t look right.’
“So I started to take baby steps, walking in the direction of the wedding house, which is not too far away from us, and then I saw the young man lying face down in the drain. I told him to get up, and he was unresponsive, so I told the CPG guy, ‘Look! The man is here!’
“And from then, he did not even come to look at the boy; he just stood there.”
The man said that it was he who pulled the youngster out of the drain, and when he turned him over, he saw that the child’s intestines were protruding, and cautioned the CPG man not to lock him up but to take him to the hospital instead.
But by then, the man had already driven off leaving his colleague with the injured teen, who was still breathing, according to the informant.
So he took a rag and tried to staunch the bleed from another wound, and asked the CPG man to call back his colleague in the van. After a moment’s hesitation, the Soesdyke man said, the CPG man did as asked, saying to his colleague:
“Yuh got to come back here now, boy! It got a man here bleeding; somebody stab up this man.”
As the informant pointed out, he distinctly recalled the CGP man deliberately not telling his colleague that it was the same teenager he claimed had jumped out of the vehicle and gone running up the road he was talking about.
It was also brought to the Guyana Chronicle’s attention that a woman who was in the front seat of the vehicle when the brawl occurred did not have any statement taken from her, as according to what residents are saying, they were told by the police that they saw no need to question her.
There was also the man who came out of his yard and sought the assistance of the police by calling the 911 Hotline, but to no avail. He said that after not making any headway with the Hotline, he decided to jump into his car and drive to the police station.
Said the man: “When I reach Timehri, they had the vehicle which the guy was in at the station, and the driver was standing outside of the vehicle.
“So I went into the station and told them there is a man dying in front of me, and the policeman on duty answered, ‘We coming.’ “There was one with a gun in his hands, and another one cock up on the counter in the enquires room, so I left and went home. “They came a while after, and they just stood there for a long time; by the time they were ready to take him to the hospital, he was already dead.”
Another Soesdyke resident said that as far as he knew, the teen did jump out of the vehicle when it stopped, while others who were at the wedding house implicated the man who was sitting in the tray of the red open-back vehicle with the CPG logo as the one who inflicted the fatal wounds on the teen.
There was also a development where one of the persons who provided the Guyana Chronicle with some vital information did not get to share it with the police even though he expressed his willingness to do so.