Boy shot by cops, father picket DPP's chambers
Meeting set for today
Stabroek News
January 15, 2002

Berbice police shooting victim Vincent Griffith Jnr, 12, and his father, staged a picketing exercise outside the Chambers of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) yesterday and were granted a brief audience with Deputy DPP, Roxanne George.

The action Vincent Griffith, Snr, said was to secure some sort of action from the relevant authorities in relation to justice prevailing in his son's case. A meeting has been set up with the deputy DPP this morning, but Griffith Snr called 'Tanner' said that he would not be meeting with the state's legal officers, instead leaving this task to a lawyer offered free of charge by the recently formed group, Citizens Against Police Oppression (CAPO). They were also offered an appointment with DPP, Denis Hanomansingh at 9:30 am on Thursday when he returns from leave.

The 12-year-old Berbice High School (BHS) student had his left leg amputated just below the knee on December 12. at the New Amsterdam hospital after police in that town shot him in a house at Smythfield/Mt Sinai that afternoon while searching for a wanted man.

Griffith, a first form student at BHS, who resides at Lot 39 Stanleytown some two miles from where he was shot was said to have gone to the Smythfield/Mt Sinai home of elder of the musical group Conga Nya, Ivelaw James to recover a cap left there following a welcome home party for some members of the group who had returned from a cultural tour to Brazil.

While he was there, his father related, he had heard unfamiliar voices in the house and hid in a wardrobe located in one of the rooms of the house.

Police shot the lad twice after the wardrobe door opened suddenly. The child had reportedly pleaded with them not to shoot. At the time, police were said to have been looking for Mark McKenzie, for whom an arrest warrant had been issued. The man was said to be armed with a hand grenade. He is still at large.

Several persons including staff of the DPP's office and personnel from the adjoining Target Special Squad headquarters looked on quietly as the boy proceeded the short distance to the front gate; first on crutches, then in the arms of his father, who lifted him into the DPP's chambers. With every step the lad grimaced in pain from the unhealed amputated leg.

Prior to the meeting 'Tanner' a sculptor and musician by profession told reporters gathered in the vicinity of the city seawall that the police had remained very unhelpful in pursuing the matter involving his son's injury stating that they were awaiting the advice of the DPP.

Meanwhile, due to the kindness of several individuals including CNS Channel 6 owner, Chandra Narine Sharma and diamond dealer Joseph De Agrella, young Griffith has acquired a wheelchair and a pair of crutches to aid in his mobility.

Further, vendors, moneychangers and shoppers in the America Street area on Saturday last contributed to the securing of some $115,000, part of which was used to purchase a computer for $60,000 sold at a rebate by Starr Computers on Brickdam. A simple handing over ceremony was held in America street following the visit to the DPP's office yesterday at which the lad thanked all who had contributed to the fund and consequently the computer's purchase.