More contradictions this afternoon at the Linden Commission of Inquiry hearings
And there were even more contradictions this afternoon at the Linden Commission of Inquiry hearings, as Sergeant Rodwell English took the stand.
In his testimony, he told the Commission, that he was the head of a Linden Anti-Crime Patrol, that was sent out on July 18th. He said, that during the afternoon of the 18th, his patrol accompanied the TSU ranks to the Mackenzie Wismar Bridge where the TSU went into formation and its head ASP, Todd, read the proclamation before releasing tear gas into the crowd at the bridge. But where English’s testimony became interesting is when he began telling the Commission that around 5:30, just as the TSU was releasing tear smoke, he and part of his unit left to go to the GRA building, after he received a call from Superintendent Hicken, informing him that the building was on fire. He said, when they got there, there was a crowd and he released tear gas to get rid of the crowd. When that didn’t work, he said he contacted Superintendent Hicken, who told him to fire a gunshot and one of his ranks did so into the air. He claimed another shot was fired and they later received a call from Hicken again telling him this time that the PPP building was on fire. He said, there was another crowd there and after a conversation with superintendent Hicken, another shot was fired to clear the crowd.
He said, his unit tried to clear roadblocks and eventually returned to the Police Station. One of his ranks who took out 20 tear smoke cartridges but only returned with 11. He said, when he questioned what happened to the other cartridges, the constable told him that ASP Todd who was in charge of the TSU, took them from him to use. Todd had testified, that he took the weapons from his own TSU men to fire shots and tear smoke to disperse the crowd. English’s story was clearly very different.
Seregeant English will return to the witness box on Thursday to facequestioning by the attorneys for the APNU and relatives of the victims.
The Commission heads to Linden tomorrow, Wednesday, to get a first hand look of the scene at the Mackenzie Wismar Bridge, where the 3 protesters were shot dead. Senior Superintendent, Hicken and Assistant Superintendent, Todd are expected to be there where they could face further questioning.
Meanwhile, the Commission was this afternoon expected to dispatch those sopheanos to Digicel and GT&T, requesting the phone records of Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee and Senior Superintendent Clifton Hicken, on July 18. Hicken had testified, that he was never in contact with the Home Affairs Minister on that day, but the Attorney for the relatives of the victims contend that there were at least 15 phone calls between the Home Affairs Minister and the Senior Superintendent, leading up to the shooting incident at the bridge.
Earlier today, the Police Force’s videographer wrapped up his testimony. He told the commission, that he was not in Linden at the time of the shooting but was sent there to record the aftermath of the shooting and the subsequent protest action. He testified, that the video recording he provided to the Commission was a copy of the footage he took but that it was not logged and the footage was not transferred to the DVD in the order that he shot it during his time at Linden.