Murder charge against cops who killed unarmed man discharged

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The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has withdrawn the murder charge against two serving members of the Guyana Police Force (GPF) who were charged with killing 39-year-old Cecil Sampat – an unarmed man who was shot four times on July 25, 2020.

Corporal Godwin Thomas and Constable Troy Munroe were on remand. Sampat of Festival City, South Ruimveldt, Georgetown succumbed to his injuries on August 6.

The duo made their first court appearance on August 14, 2020, before the Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan. The charges were instituted by the police and without advice from the DPP.  The duo were released from prison late November following the decision of the DPP; the DPP chambers also instructed the police to do further investigations into the incident.

The News Room understands that Munroe alone may be charged with manslaughter.

Thomas and Munroe were instructed to report daily to the police and if not, the $500,000 which they each lodged could be forfeited and an arrest warrant issued.

When the police investigation is complete, the file will be sent back to the DPP for further advice in relation to Thomas and another Police Corporal, identified as Jacobs for their alleged involvement to Sampat’s death.

The News Room had reported, Sampat was club hopping with a coworker, 27-year-old Winston Fraser who is now paralyzed along with Joshua Letlow and Seon Greenidge on July 25 when police opened fire on them.

The four friends were in motorcar PYY 4432 which Police mistook for a car used in a recent robbery at Eccles, East Bank Demerara.

But according to a police report, the ranks had dispersed a crowded bar at Agricola, during which there was a fight between two men and one of the men was armed with a handgun. The armed man subsequently entered PYY 4432 and as such the ranks began trailing the car.

However, the police vehicle had some mechanical issues and the ranks contacted other patrols in the city and notified them of the situation.

Sampat and his friends were intercepted on Durban Street when police began shooting at them. No weapons were recovered from the friends or from the car.

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