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15.07.2009 General News

Police faulted over 'excessive force'

By myjoyonline
Police Public Affairs Director, DSP Kwesi OforiPolice Public Affairs Director, DSP Kwesi Ofori
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Security expert Dr Emmanuel Kwesi Annin has criticised what he says must have been the use of disproportionate force by the police in an incident that saw eight suspected armed robbers shot and killed.

While commending the police for fighting crime vigorously, Dr Annin said the rules of engagement in fighting crime ought to be followed.

Police shot and killed about eight suspected armed robbers in Kumasi in what the police say was a shootout started by the robbers.

Ashanti Regional Police Commander, DCOP Patrick Timbillah told Joy News the police received distress calls that some robbers had been terrorising travelers at Anwiankwanta on the Kumasi-Bekwai road in the Ashanti Region.

Following the tip-off, the police in plain clothes drove to scene and were taken for civilians by the robbers who attempted to rob them but opened fire upon realising that they were policemen.

The police returned fire killing eight in the process. One of those who died during the action was identified as Ahmed Boakye, a Fulani man who had earlier been arrested for his involvement in a robbery case at a petrol filling station on April 22, 2007.

Four others who sustained gunshot wounds managed to escape, and are currently being hunted by the police.

According to the Daily Graphic, the police described the shooting as the single biggest operation against armed robbery in the country.

But Dr Annin said the suspects should have been shot in the legs to disarm and incapacitate them.

Retrieving “three locally manufactured pistols, probably some cutlasses, does not seem to me to be a heavily armed, well trained, well mobilised team,” he told Joy FM's Super Morning Show host, Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah.

“I think we will need some forensic experts to find out the type of guns that were used and the actual nature of the (attack) on the police team,” he added.

Police Public Affairs Director, DSP Kwesi Ofori rejected Dr Annin's suggestions, arguing that reasonable force was used to repel the robbers.

“I don't think we used disproportionate force (because) we live in a democratic country governed by laws,” he explained.

Story by Malik Abass Daabu/Myjoyonline.com

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