Family disputes claim that abusive man killed by cop was armed
Relatives of 30-year-old Deanraj ‘Steve’ Singh have debunked claims by the Guyana Police Force that he was armed at the time he was shot and killed by a cop on Tuesday night.
The family alleged that the police left the body in the Demerara River after shooting Singh and returned until the next day to search for him. The rank who shot Singh remains under close arrest, pending the outcome of an investigation.
Singh, a fisherman and a father of three children, was discovered dead on Wednesday morning by a fisherman at Riverview, Ruimveldt, Georgetown.
Police Headquarters in a statement on Thursday said he was shot dead after a confrontation with the police rank.
According to the police, Singh was abusive towards his ex-wife and although the woman was granted a protection order against him, Singh went to the woman’s house and abused her on Tuesday.
The woman reported the incident to the Ruimveldt Police Station and a few officers responded.
However, Singh’s brother, who identified himself as Shabba, disputed those claims. Shabba said that he and Singh were drinking on Tuesday night and after he [Shabba] emerged from inside the house, he noticed his brother was nowhere around.
“After we drinking, I ended going inside and left he so he don’t drink no more rum,” Shabba explained.
The police, however, reported that when the officers visited Riverview, Singh and some of his friends were imbibing; upon seeing the ranks, Singh reportedly ran into a house, jumped through a window and dashed towards the Demerara River.
He was followed by the officers and his ex-wife. Soon after, based on an officer’s account, Singh was seen with a suspected firearm and an explosion was heard soon after, resulting in the officer discharging two rounds in Singh’s direction.
“I heard the police come and start shooting at him and he run, the police know them shoot he and them go away and left he, them come back the next morning searching and eventually the big man living at the back there found his body,” Shabba explained.
The brother claimed that the cop fired three shots at Singh but only one hit him to the right-side abdomen. Shabba said his brother was unarmed.
“He ain’t had nothing and the police claiming that he shoot pon them, he ain’t had no firearm, he ain’t had no knife nothing.
“If he shoot pon them, he suppose to get gun powder [residue], although he dead, he suppose to get gun powder [residue],” Shabba stated.
The matter is being investigated by the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR). As part of the investigation, samples from the hands of both the deceased and the police rank, as well as clothing, were collected for the examination of gun powder residue.
Meanwhile, Police Headquarters also reported that the area was searched but no trace of the suspected firearm was discovered.
Police reported that Singh was charged with the offences of break and enter larceny, and assault, and two arrest warrants were issued for both offences.
He also had several criminal charges pending against him, the police detailed on Thursday.