Was Kwame Assanah wrongfully killed by the police? Family wants answers
By Fareeza Haniff
The aftermath of Thursday’s gunning down of three suspected bandits by the police has left more questions than answers. As a matter of fact, the family of Kwame Assanah, claim that he was wrongfully killed. They intend to hire their own lawyers and a private investigator to pursue justice.
Thirty-seven-year-old Assanah of Buxton, East Coast Demerara is one of the men police said trailed a customer from Scotia Bank on Robb Street, Georgetown and attempted to execute a robbery.
Assanah owned a Black Toyota IST, which police said was used in the alleged crime; his bloodied body was found next to the driver’s side door and police in their statement on Thursday said that he is a known character who was charged with several offences.
However, up to news time, the Guyana Police Force was yet to state what these offences are and when Assanah was charged and arrested. As a matter of fact, just a few weeks ago, the father of 2 was granted a police clearance by the very administration of the Guyana Police Force for a new job he started as a debt collector at Courts Guyana.
His wife with whom he shared a 16-year relationship, Claire, is distraught over the circumstances under which he died. Claire, a teacher at a private school, believes that her husband was wrongfully killed.
Claire told News Room that she last spoke with her husband at minutes to 12 Thursday and asked him to visit their son’s school because he was misbehaving. She said her husband promised to do so after school because he was busy at work.
According to Claire, after 3pm, she kept calling her husband’s phone and a policeman answered and told her that Kwame is dead. Claire saw the news on Facebook and she recognized his car at the scene.
“We’re asking for a complete inquiry as to how and why he was killed. That’s what we’re asking for,” Claire said.
Prior to working at Courts, Kwame was a supervisor at Security Alliance – a security company. He was also a GDF pilot in training a few years ago before he left the Force to support to his younger siblings in the absence of their father.
He also did part-time taxi work with his car.
His brother, Lawrence Assanah, a soldier in the Defence Force and his sister, Shamaine, who is an Analyst at Qualfon, met with Crime Chief acting, Paul Williams Friday morning, where they were told that the police found no criminal record of him. The family is now confused as to why the police would claim in their statement that he was arrested in the past.
“We basically went to the Crime Chief to let him know that we are aware and we did not buy what the report says about our brother. There are numerous inconsistencies of the entire shooting. So we basically went there to let him that we’re going to take it to the next level where we have lawyers involved and private investigators involved to get more details and it’s not to bombard the police and say ‘you’re this and you’re that’ but the inconsistency…they made a report to say he was arrested on previous occasions and no family…or anybody is aware of this. There is no criminal record…” Lawrence said.
In tears, Lawrence described his brother as someone who guided him on the right path.
“That is my best friend, not only my brother. We share our siblings’ burdens and he is the one that guided me, he is the one that pushes me. We helped each other along the way. We’ve never been in any kind of robbery. We talk to one another…we grew up without a father, and we father our siblings by supporting them…we sell genips and biscuits in town…that is the kind of relationship we get, we support each other.”
Even though the Police force claimed that there was a shootout, no bullet holes were found on Kwame’s car. However, the police claimed that their unmarked car was damaged with bullet holes in the roof and windshield. The police’s unmarked car was not at the scene of the crime when reporters arrived on Thursday.
Police said initially 46-year old Dextroy “Dutty” Cordis of Grove, East Bank Demerara and Kwame Assanah were killed. A 9 MM Pistol along with a magazine containing seven live rounds and four spent shells was found next to the body of Cordis.
Seconds later, by the police account, 57-year old Errol “Dynamite” Adams, a known character of Dartmouth, Essequibo Coast and Buxton, East Coast Demerara was shot dead, while his accomplice escaped on a CG motorcycle that was near the motorcar in which Cordis and Assanah were travelling.
The police said one of the men on motorcycle fired several rounds at the ranks who again returned fire, resulting in the death of Adams.
The motorcar which was driven by Kwame was searched and police found one driver’s licence, ten passports belonging to himself and family members, a key used by trunkers, two handcuff keys, a bandana and clothing.
Police are yet to release any information on the alleged bank customer who was about to be robbed.
Additionally, the Kwame’s family questioned why the alleged bank customer drove past the CID Headquarters if he/she believed bandits were in trailing them.