Dead man’s parents call for coroners inquest
The parents of Gleason Lewis, the man who investigators say shot and killed police Sergeant Philbert Chambers last year, are disturbed that a Coroner’s Inquest has not yet been held.
Glasley Lewis, Gleason’s father, said on Tuesday, that it was a year, one month and six days since the shooting that took place at their Campden Park home on Sunday April 26, 2020 and ended the life of Sergeant Chambers and Gleason, but up to now, a lot of questions remain unanswered.
“We are really asking for due process, because if my son killed the police, everybody should see the evidence and without the Inquest, we cannot have that,” Lewis told reporters during a press conference at the law chambers of Kay Bacchus-Baptiste.
But according to Commissioner of Police Colin John, the Coroner’s Inquest is being held up partly because Lewis and his wife Marcelle, have been refusing to meet with investigators and stated that they were told not to by their lawyer Kay Bacchus-Baptiste.
“As regard the evidence, after the incident, immediately after, the investigator went to speak to the parents and I know the father for sure was evading the police from giving a statement.
“I don’t think up to now he has given a statement to the police. The last thing the investigator said he told him is that he was advised not to give a statement to the police by his lawyer,” Commissioner John told SEARCHLIGHT from his office on Wednesday.
During the press conference on Tuesday Bacchus-Baptiste called on the authorities to hold a Coroner’s Inquest so they, as well as the public, can know exactly what happened on the fateful morning when Sergeant Chambers and Gleason were killed, and another police, Verrol Sam, was shot in the foot.
The Lewises, as well as their lawyer, said they have evidence to show that Sergeant Chambers and his colleague Sam, were struck by friendly fire.
The parents also want EC$ 8,885 in compensation for damage they said the police caused at their home on the day of the shooting. And, they want their son’s possessions that were taken from the scene, returned.
The incident that led to the fatal shooting was preceded by the parents’ decision to ask the police to help them take Gleason to get professional help, as he was showing signs of mental instability after returning from the United States (US).
“This incident may have been avoided if the police had used appropriate procedures for such a disturbed person.
“Instead the way the police mishandled the situation has led to disastrous results and my clients’ son reputation has been destroyed,” Bacchus-Baptiste told reporters.
She said she also asked the Commissioner of Police to allow the parents to view DVR surveillance footage that was removed from the scene, as Lewis had cameras set up that should have recorded the entire confrontation.
The lawyer said the parents are distraught as their house was recklessly damaged by police, and their son riddled with over 50 bullets.
The lawyer and the Lewises are also contesting where the two men reportedly were when they were killed, arguing that Sergeant Chambers was shot outside the house, and Gleason was shot in front of the kitchen door and died with half his body inside and the other half outside.
“The sadness about this is that it can happen again and that is why I’m saying about the recklessness of it…,” Bacchus-Baptiste said.
Lewis said the situation is extremely hard for him as Sergeant Chambers was a student of his at the Barrouallie Secondary School (BSS), “so both of them were dear to me.”
Lewis is also said to have told his lawyer that the pain is compounded by having to be living in the house in which his son was slain.