A bullet in the mouth would have killed Brian King
Stabroek News
January 19, 2002

Dear Editor,

The Guyana police sometimes get things wrong. They are being paid to do a stressful and a dangerous job; equally, they are being constantly maligned and misreported.

I have before me a letter by Mr CRB Edwards captioned "Police version of Brian King's death is absurd" (12.1.2002). I think it was the pinnacle of unreason in Mr Edwards to come to the conclusion that the arresting officer pushed his gun in Brian King's mouth and opened fire and this at a time when all resistance from the deceased had ceased.

How could this be and King not die instantly? Could a well aimed bullet to a man's moth avoid taking of his head or a substantial part of it? Or splitting his tongue into several pieces.

Mr Editor, whatever happened on that fatal day that policeman could not have pre meditated the death of Brian King else he could have executed him with the greatest of ease. If the first shot to the mouth had not fulfilled its purpose why didn't he finish him off with another? Brian King, it is known absorbed a bullet and he lived for one month after the devastating experience.

Our sympathy for the deceased and for his family is unquestionable, but sympathy must not supplant reason.

If the arresting officer's intention had been murderous why travel 100 yards with a struggling man when he could have been murdered within a yard?

I am fully satisfied that the policeman, as a competent professional, would have had the confidence that, on his own, he could have escorted Brian King to Brickdam in complete safety. It was no question that the struggle the deceased put up had been no insurmountable disadvantage to the officer.

Then it must be queried, if the officer did not shoot Brian King deliberately, how did the bullet enter King's mouth?

All the way we know that a loaded gun was part of the struggle and that in a struggling situation guns sometimes go off by accident.

In this case, however, that gun went off and reason would teach us that it was not aimed at the luckless Brian King but that the bullet ricochetted from some other point of contact and got into King's mouth at a diminished velocity and that is the reason why King had not experienced instant mortality.

Brian King's death was the result of a freak accident and not the effect of calculated malice on the part of the arresting officer. Brian King died because he did not respond positively to an invitation to visit Brickdam. He struggled against a legitimate request and in the struggle he experienced a freak disaster.

The police are being maligned by malicious and ill informed men.

Yours faithfully,

P.H. Michael