Linden Commission of Inquiry continues to hear contradictory evidence from Senior members of Police Force
Heading into its second week, the Linden Commission of Inquiry continues to hear contradictory evidence being put forward by Senior members of the Police Force. This morning, Assistant Superintendent, Patrick Todd, who headed the Tactical Services Unit in Linden on July 18th, when 3 protesters were shot and killed, testified that his hands were never swabbed for gunpowder residue after the Linden shooting incident. That is in direct contradiction to the testimony by the Police Commissioner acting, Leroy Brummel, who testified last week, that all of the TSU Officers who went to Linden, were swabbed after the shooting incident, as part of the probe. Today Assistant Superintendent Todd also said, he has no knowledge of the other members of his unit being swabbed.
Todd who testified that he was the only one from his unit who did the shooting of the shot gun and throwing of the tear gas on July 18th, said his actions were justifiable but he did not mean to cause injury to anyone.
He said, that on the day of the incident he was never contacted by the Police Commissioner and that continued for the duration of his time in Linden. He said, all the orders he got was from Senior Superintendent, Clifton Hicken. He said, he was in Hicken’s Division and therefore Hicken was the senior one, the one he reported to and the one he took orders from.
When the Commissioner quizzed him about the two times the unit went to the bridge, Todd testified that he believes the first call they got to the bridge was a bad one. He was also asked about whether it would have been wiser for the TSU ranks to remain at the bridge after that first call rather than to head back to the Police Station and return later that afternoon.
When Todd left the witness stand, Corporal Donald Harry was called to testify. He was stationed in the arms room of at the Tactical Services Unit. He testified that when the ranks returned, they handed in less ammunition than they left with and he also testified that he found it unusual that the weapons and ammunition were only returned to the arms room on July 22nd although, the ranks returned July 19th.
Corporal Harry also told the Commission that some ranks returned and handed in weapons that they were not issued. But he said, the weapons were taken for ballistics test.