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07.12.2006 Social News

Government accepts recommendations on Police shootings

By GNA
Government accepts recommendations on Police shootings
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Government has accepted in full recommendations of a five-member Committee which investigated two shooting incidents involving some Police officers and alleged armed robbers leading to the death of five people.

To this effect the Attorney General and Minister of Justice and the Police Council were tasked to take all necessary actions with regard to compensation and possible breaches of the law or operational instructions and procedures of the Police Service.

The Committee members were Mr Justice J. C. Amonoo-Monney, Retired Appeals Court Judge; Professor Florence Abena Dolphyne; the Reverend Father Samuel Batsa; Mrs Janet Amegacher and Mr M. N. Bawwumia.

Mr Kan Dapaah, Minister of the Interior, who set up the Committee after the two shooting incidents at Dansoman and Kotobabi, announced this at a news briefing in Accra.

On April 21, 2006 four persons in a taxi were shot dead by Policemen in Dansoman, who were allegedly pursuing armed robbers in a similar taxicab.

Consequently, the four occupants in the cab were later discovered to be a female trader by name Lydia Opoku, 42; Atta Boatemaa; Mallam Musah, 30 and Kwadwo Awuti, 29.

The Kotobabi incident took place in May, when Policeman on call to pursue alleged armed robbers, who had snatched a taxicab, mistakenly killed a man they took to be one of the robbers.

The victim was later identified as Isaac Tetteh Nartey, a fashion designer, who lived around the place where the alleged car snatching took place.

According to the Interior Minister the Committee was of the view that as at the time of the Dansoman pursuit the Police believed they were pursuing armed robbers and that the area was prone to armed robbery.

He said the Committee also noted on the night in question that there were several reports of attacks by occupants of a white and yellow Tico taxicab as well as the reported snatching of an Astra Opel car, which the Police led, by one of the officers involved had retrieved.

He said the Committee also commended the Police for their prompt and successful action on retrieving the Opel Astra cab but concluded that the shooting incident at Dansoman was unlawful and that none of the four victims, who died was an armed robber.

He said the Government has accepted the recommendations that the four families should be given adequate compensation to be determined by the Attorney General and all funeral expenses paid.

That the Police Administration should investigate the incident of desertion by General Constable Edwin Djan and Godfred Kumako, who left their duty posts to take part in the action and to take appropriate action on all inappropriate moves made by the officers involved.

The Committee further recommended that in an event of a shooting involving the Police, the victims or injured persons, even if they were suspected to be armed robbers or criminals should be taken to hospital with minimum delay for medical attention.

On the Kotobabi incident, the Committee asked that Government paid adequate compensation to the family of Isaac Tetteh Nartey and copies of the report be given to the Attorney-General for study and action.

That all funeral expenses should be paid and the Police Administration should consider whether it was appropriate for a Station Orderly to leave his duty post at the Charge Office as General Constable Thomas Tetteh Baah did and if not appropriate punishment should be meted out to him.

Mr Dapaah said the Government viewed the two incidents as most regrettable and expressed its deepest condolences to the bereaved families.

He said the Committee made further recommendations on a number of issues which included lack of training in weapon handling by the Police, education on service instructions particularly on the one, which dealt with when the Police could resort to the use of firearms.

The others were custody and issuance of ammunition; lack of communication equipment; lack of Police vehicles at Police stations and the provision of streetlights in areas prone to crime.

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