When are the police entitled to shoot?
Stabroek News
April 24, 2002

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Dear Editor,

Yes, ... another police shooting and of course enhanced by the comment that there was a confrontation with by?) the victim thus causing the shooting injury, which fortunately this time was in the leg.

My questions are:

Are there any conditions to be met before the police must or could use their guns?

Are guns issued to all policemen?

How frequently do the police undergo exercises in the use of their guns?

The current shooting report makes reference to the victim running away to escape the police and in the process the police started shooting at him. The victim was not armed, therefore the lives of the police were not in jeopardy. Are the police allowed and entitled to shoot an unarmed person trying to run away?

This brings to mind a while back when the police shot dead two thieves on the Kitty foreshore as they were surrendering with their hands upraised. The thieves had waded out in the mud but realising that they could go no further decided to head back and surrender with hands upraised. They were shot dead.

Was any inquiry held?

Was any report formally filed?

Was any inquest ever held?

This current victim should regard himself as extremely lucky. It may be that there is a slight change in policy!

Yours faithfully,

Carl Veecock

Editor's note

The police are not entitled to shoot to kill where there is no danger to them, for example, if someone is running away or is clearly unarmed.