Charges for three cops after teen burnt while in lockups
Charges were recommended for three members of the Guyana Police Force in the incident where a 17-year-old prisoner was burnt while in the lockups at the Vigilance Police Station, East Coast Demerara on July 10, 2022.
The Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) investigated the matter.
Police Headquarters in a statement on Wednesday noted “legal advice was today provided to the Commissioner of Police and the Crime Chief, for charges to be instituted against the following persons, including two (2) Corporals, and one (1) Constable.”
The recommended charges are as follows;
1. Police Constable 25324 Nazier is to be charged with the offence of failing to perform his duties with diligence, Contrary to Section 4 (e)(ii) of the Police (Discipline) Act, Chapter 17:01.
2. Police Corporal 18165 Thomas to be charged with the offence of neglect of duty, Contrary to Section 4(e) (i) of the Police (Discipline) Act, Chapter 17:01.
3. Police Corporal 20876 Bissessar to be charged with the offence of omitting to make a necessary entry, Contrary to Section 4(e) (Viii) of the Police (Discipline) Act, Chapter 17:01.
Meanwhile, another prisoner, Keron Williams will also be charged with the offence of Introducing Prohibited Articles into Prison, Contrary to Section 54(1)(a) of the Prison Act, Chapter 11:01. Williams reportedly gave the lighter to the teen.
The teenager, identified as Jaheim Peters of Annandale, East Coast Demerara was burnt three days after he was arrested for armed robbery.
The teen’s father had alleged police brutality while the Guyana Police Force had issued two statements with two different versions of how the teen was set on fire.
In its initial statement on Sunday about the incident, the Guyana Police Force said the teen was alone in a cell when the fire started and he told the police officers that he was playing with a lighter when his jersey caught fire.
But another statement by the police on Monday related that the boy was detained with two friends and he asked one of them for a lighter.
The police claimed that Peters told EMTs that he had been smoking in the lockups when he slept off and the cigarette had caught on his shirt.
The police statement claimed that at about 10:10hrs on Sunday, the boy was alone when screams were heard.
The Force said when a rank made checks, he observed the boy’s jersey was on fire.
The boy was escorted to the Georgetown Public Hospital where he is being treated for burn injuries to his left side abdomen and hand.
Meanwhile, the teenager in a video posted to Facebook claimed that he was set on fire by police ranks.