A response to the Police Commissioner

first_imgDear Editor,I have just had the benefit of reading the press reports of the acting Commissioner of Police on the location of Mr. Lyte at the time of the events which led to the deaths of three men on the 15th March 2018.It is unfortunate that the acting Police Commissioner — who indicated support for the officers of the Guyana Police Force involved in the incident, and voiced his opinion on the events which occurred on March 15th, 2018 — would choose to publicly challenge a citizen who was brave enough to come forward and provide a statement, especially since he has not had the benefit of interviewing that citizen.Needless to say, the absence of confidence which several eyewitnesses expressed to me and other independent investigators about the ability of the Guyana Police Force to protect their safety when their own officers are the subject of the allegation of murder, has been confirmed by the statements of the Commissioner.I confirm that on Monday afternoon Mr. Lyte met with Mr. Paul Williams, Crime Chief, in the Office of the Crime Chief at Eve Leary. The sole purpose of going to the Crime Chief’s Office was for Mr. Lyte to give a statement. The senior officer whom Mr. Williams contacted was not available at the time, and we agreed that we would return on Tuesday at lunchtime.In the intervening period, Mr. Lyte contacted me and expressed the collective fear of his entire family regarding his safety and protection.In an effort to persuade him that his fears were exaggerated, I attended his home, where I spoke with his grandmother and sister, both of whom were adamant that he would not be attending any Police station, as they were afraid for his safety and that of their family.I confirm that I attended the Softball Association of Guyana’s ground on Carifesta Avenue on Wednesday morning, where I spoke with a person who described himself as a supervisor, who confirmed the presence of Mr. Lyte at the location on March 15th 2018, but said he was not on the roof at the time of the shooting.I subsequently learnt from another source that the contractor was interviewed by the Police prior to my arrival, and was in fear of losing his contract with the Government to repair the building.Earlier this morning, we delivered a letter to the Commissioner of Police, expressing the exact fear of Mr. Lyte.  A copy of the letter is attached for your benefit.Today I have personally interviewed two additional eyewitnesses who were at much closer proximity to the shooting, and whose line of sight was considerably more proximate than that of Mr. Lyte. Copies of their statements, with redactions to protect their identities, are attached.I also spoke to both the Minister of Public Security and the Crime Chief about the fears of the witnesses regarding their safety. This was prior to the Commissioner’s statements, issued later this afternoon.In light of the considerable fear and apprehension felt by eyewitnesses,  who have provided me with statements of the events of March 15th 2018, the family of Mr. Cordis is of the opinion that it is beyond the capacity of the Guyana Police Force to conduct a fair and impartial investigation into the death of Dexroy Cordis.These statements have disclosed a frightening chronology of events, which have cast not only grave doubts on the version of events provided by the Commissioner of Police, but include a recount of one of the Police officers turning his guns on a group of persons who were playing football at the Guyana National Service ground when they were observed looking on at the events. A copy of these statements with the sensitive details is also attached.Both of these witnesses have expressed little confidence in the ability of the Guyana Police Force to protect them, and in light of the public statements and treatment of Mr. Lyte by the Commissioner of Police, who commented with the benefit of an interview with him, the fears of the two witnesses along with that of Mr. Lyte are now fully justified.I personally telephoned both the Minister of Public Security and the Crime Chief today to express these fears.The family of Mr. Cordis is now of the firm belief that the Guyana Police Force cannot be trusted to conduct a fair investigation into the deaths of these young men, and consequently wishes to call for a full, independent investigation into the events of the 15th March 2018.Also, I am not sure whether the good commissioner was a member of the Guyana Police Force when I took Mr. George Bacchus, a whistle blower on the phantom squad, to the Guyana Police Force, after having taken him to the United States Embassy.My recollection is that despite the sterling efforts of the Guyana Police Force to protect Mr. Bacchus, he also died of unnatural causes.The more things change…Yours sincerely,C.A. Nigel Hughes.Partner.last_img read more

Governor appointee arrested in fatal crash

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SACRAMENTO – A Republican activist and appointee of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has been arrested for investigation of driving under the influence after a gruesome crash that killed three adults and a toddler. Robert Vellanoweth, 63, of Sacramento, was arrested on suspicion of gross vehicular manslaughter and felony driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, police said. Vellanoweth is a former activist with the Republican National Hispanic Assembly who also was listed as vice chairman of Latinos for Arnold-Northern California during the 2003 recall election. Schwarzenegger appointed him last November to the state Board of Optometry. The Governor’s Office said Tuesday that he would be removed immediately from that post. Police say Vellanoweth was driving a 2005 Jeep Cherokee that slammed into a 1984 Chrysler LeBaron carrying five people Monday afternoon. Brittanya Metchelle Nash, 17, her sister, Brizchelle Ta’Corra Rice, 21, and Rice’s 19-month-old daughter, Kamall Dino Savant Osby, died in the crash, the Sacramento County Coroner’s Office said Tuesday. Also killed was Shanice Patrice Carter, 18. A fifth occupant of the car, a 16-year-old girl, was taken to a local hospital with critical injuries. The Jeep Cherokee crossed into oncoming traffic and hit the Chrysler head-on during a rainstorm about 4 p.m. Monday, police Sgt. Matt Young said. last_img read more