Protestor shot, Cop injured as protest to ‘free Mingo’ escalates in Belladrum
Residents of Belladrum, West Coast Berbice have entered their third day of protest calling for the release of the embattled Returning Officer of Region 4 Clairmont Mingo; the situation has now resulted in the injury of a resident and a Policeman.
The protestors have been using various equipment including a shop, a truck and part of a trailer along with burning debris to block the roadways which have resulted in a huge buildup of traffic since Sunday stretching for miles.
The situation escalated into Sunday night and resulted in the riot squad using tear gas and pellets to disperse the crowd.
Commissioner of Police (ag) Nigel Hoppie when contacted told the News Room Monday that the protest is still ongoing and the Police are doing their best to clear the roadway.
He confirmed that a protestor was shot and others were injured, including a Policeman.
The protestor was taken to a hospital while the Policeman who was treated at the Fort Wellington hospital for an injury above the eye.
Commissioner Hoppie said protestors threw debris at the cops causing the officer to receive “serious damage” above the eye.
The Top Cop said the Police have exercised great restraint and the protestor was shot after several warnings.
“As a matter of fact, they were warned on several occasions to desist from the act…it was minimum force the Police utilized during the process,” Commissioner Hoppie told the News Room.
“We are ensuring that we exercise restraint in addressing the issue,” he further noted.
Police are still making efforts to clear the roadway and according to Commissioner Hoppie, no one has been arrested as yet in connection with the days of protest.
Mingo who is facing four charges relating to electoral fraud, was arrested at on Tuesday last at his Calcutta, Mahaicony, East Coast Demerara home.
He is expected to appear at the Georgetown Magistrate’s Court Monday.