OPR probing shooting of Goed Fortuin shopkeeper by cops


The Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) is investigating the shooting of a 34-year-old shopkeeper late last month by police ranks on patrol duty.

Reports are that the shooting occurred at around 20:00 hrs on October 30 at Anna Catherina, West Coast Demerara (WCD), weeks after the victim, Otto Pitman, who was riding a motorcycle was stopped by the said ranks for not wearing a safety helmet.

During an interview with the News Room on Thursday, Pitman, a resident of Goed Fortuin, West Bank Demerara (WBD), explained that he attended a family wedding in the area and subsequently left since he was feeling unwell.

Pitman said he was riding through a street when he was confronted by the ranks, who are known to him due to previous encounters.

“…I did coming out the street, same time them men (police) coming out…when I come out the street and I turn around then is when I notice the van coming behind me hard. So I end up slowing down. Then I hear a hard sound like a gunshot.

“When I feel me head, me head start burning me. I end up slowing down and I stop.”

According to Pitman, the ranks exited the van and told him to get off the motorcycle.

The bullet struck Pitman in his head. (Photo: News Room/ November 23, 2023)

“I end up telling them, ‘bai yall shoot me in me head bai’ and them say ‘no nothing ain’t knock you’. When I mek so me head did bleeding,” Pitman explained.

Admitting that while it is possible that the ranks may not have intended to injure him, Pitman said he is dissatisfied with the manner in which the matter is being dealt with.

“I know them ain’t mussy knock me for spite. Them mussy shot me fah me stop or something but the bullet end up knocking me in me head and them now trying fah cover it up and try fah hide it up cause them ain’t want nobody know,” he said.

Before he was taken to the hospital by the ranks, Pitman alleged that the police also took his motorcycle into their possession.

Pitman told the News Room that about three weeks before the incident, he was stopped by the said ranks while returning home for not wearing a helmet.

He said after “reasoning” with the police, he was sent away.

But days after, he was attending an event in Bagotville, WBD when he saw the same ranks.  And on that occasion, he said the ranks reportedly called out to him.

“Them end up calling me and I only had about $8,000 pun me…but I said to me self I can’t give them all me money,” Pitman said.

Pitman alleged that he gave one of the ranks $2,000.

“One ah them turn and tell me ‘don’t worry with you. Every time we see you, we go terror you’ but I laugh because I say is joke them making,” Pitman related.

Noting that he is frustrated and fearful since the ranks remain on duty, Pitman said he reported the incident at the OPR two weeks ago.

Contacted on Thursday, Head of OPR, Elston Baird told the News Room that the investigation has been completed and the report is being compiled to be sent for legal advice.

Meanwhile, Pitman said he has since met with Commissioner of Police (ag) Clifton Hicken who reportedly assured him that he will look into the matter.

1 Comment
  1. Matthew says

    Hint: Stop breaking de law.

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