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Man shot by police

Man shot by police

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When James Adolphus Gould, also known as Bushay, went into some bushes to defecate, he never expected that he would emerge with a gunshot wound to his body, but that is exactly what happened.

The 51-year-old electrician, who is the father of six, is now warded at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital’s (MCMH) Male Surgical ward {{more}}nursing a gunshot wound, inflicted by a member of the Royal St Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force.

He spoke to the SEARCHLIGHT on Tuesday from his bed.

Gould who is from Diamond, was shot on the morning of Wednesday, June 10, by the police, while he was standing in some bushes in Belair. The bullet entered his right side and is still lodged in his chest close to his heart, where he said that it may have to stay as doctors have told him that they do not want to risk removing it.

Gould’s story is one of being in the wrong place at the wrong time and according to the confused man, “The Police shoot me for nothing because up to now I can’t get no explanation why I get shoot.”

Gould said that he has handed the matter over to lawyer Grant Connell as he is hoping that he gets justice for what he considers an unlawful act by the police.

On Wednesday, Connell said that he has already written to Commissioner of Police (COP) Michael Charles, Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Collin Williams, Attorney General Judith Jones-Morgan and Chief Medical Officer Dr Simone Keizer-Beache.

“This is a very unfortunate situation and unless Mr Gould’s version of events is a figment of his imagination, the actions of the Police on that day is cause for concern, you simply don’t treat a human beings like that; and I not only speak in the capacity as his lawyer but as a fellow Vincentian,” said Connell.

The lawyer added, “this could have been anyone of us. I’ve written to the Commissioner of Police on the matter. The Director of Public Prosecution, the Honourable Attorney General and The Chief Medical Officer are all aware of the situation. The Commissioner of Police and The Director of Public Prosecution have replied. The COP said the matter is being investigated. I patiently await his findings. There is no ombudsman in matters such as this, so, it will be Police investigating Police, however, I am confident that the scales of justice would be balanced.”

Connell said that after the findings of the investigation are made available to him, all other issues would be addressed.

“In the interim, we pray for Mr Gould’s full recovery, since, given the trajectory of that bullet across his chest and where it now lies, his being alive is nothing short of a miracle. I trust the medical experts will know best at this moment as to removal of the bullet or not. We are monitoring him daily. I am not going to label anyone just yet. I must allow the justice system to run its course.”

Commenting further, Gould explained how he came to be in the bushes.

He said that since he began working as an electrician on a house in Belair some six months ago, he would use a certain part of the bushes near the construction site as a “toilet” as the worksite has no functioning bathrooms.

“I always stop there because it have a little bit of bush and is like six months ago since I start working up that side, building a house for Jill Howard, I always use that part there as me toilet,” explained Gould.

He said that on the morning in question, Howard’s son who he knows by the name Ajanie passed him on his way to work and he decided to give a tool kit he was carrying to the young man who was driving a jeep.

“He offered me a ride, but I say before I go up dey leh me go use the big toilet,” said Gould who added that after he finished defecating he cleaned himself and while he was pushing the remaining toilet paper in his pocket, he heard gunshots and realized that he had been struck.

“I hear bow and I say cha boy, who just shoot me so? And when I jump out I see like four, five police and one ah them ah say ‘kill the man’.”

Gould said that one of the officers kept saying “kill the man” and he Gould kept asking, “How you go just kill man so?”

He said that he attempted to call someone and one of the officers tugged the phone from his hand and told him to walk back to where the police vehicles were parked.

He added that minutes before being shot, he had passed numerous police officers and had even told them hello before going on his way. He said that when he was brought back to the police transport he saw the same officers he had passed.

Gould stressed that in his opinion he was treated like a “pig” and a “dog” as he was transported to the MCMH in the back of a pick-up truck like an animal and dumped at the hospital without an explanation.

Gould also revealed that Senior Investigator from the Criminal Investigation Department Station Sergeant Hesran ‘Bally’ Ballantyne, one of the officers whom he had passed on the day that he was shot, came to see him at the MCMH last Monday asking for a statement, but he refused to give one as he has retained the services of Connell.

“To me that’s high class police brutality. I did nothing and just receive a gunshot and man ah say kill the man”.

He said that his shooting is highly illegal as locally, persons are not even allowed to hunt certain animals out of season. “If you shoot a manicou now, it is jail because hunting season finish”.

He added that the Police should relook the policy of handing guns to young officers as in his days growing up, only certain senior policemen were given guns.

He stressed that he has never been involved or charged for a crime.

The matter is said to be under investigation.

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