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Cops refuse to let mother see dead son close-up

Cops refuse to let mother see dead son close-up


Police on Saturday, did not allow a mother to see up close, the body of her son who was shot and killed in the street in Layou, because they were concerned about the potential psychological impact on her.{{more}}

Commissioner of Police Keith Miller told SEARCHLIGHT of the reasoning behind the decision, which angered some onlookers.

“It was immediate then and for a sick mother in a wheelchair to come see her son lying on the street here — you understand the psychological effect that can be impacted on that woman,” Miller said in Layou on Saturday.

“… the public may not understand certain sensitivity … It is the loss of a life. So, sometimes you have to use tact.”

The mother of the dead man, 66-year-old Verene Lynch, who uses a wheelchair, was behind the police line in the main road in Layou, where her son’s body lay in the street several yards away.

Evans Lynch died in the street shortly after being shot around 1 p.m. Saturday.

“Evans just come from over me,” the mother cried, as other onlookers tried to comfort her.

As funeral home employees arrived to take the body away, the woman again cried that she wanted to touch her son.

A boy pushed her wheelchair past the police cordon, as a member of the Rapid Response Unit (“Black Squad”) motioned to detectives.

But police did not allow the woman to touch her son’s body.

“Some people may not take it well, but … the mother will get a chance to see her deceased son, but maybe that is when she is more conscious, when the reality set in, when she is in a better position to receive that type of psychological impact,” Miller told SEARCHLIGHT.

“So, these are things that people need to understand. When we come, we are not irrational and reckless. People do not take these things into account,” Miller further said, in explaining the cops’ decision.

Miller said that the officer in charge of the crime scene, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Sydney James, decided not to allow the woman to see her son’s body.

Verene told SEARCHLIGHT yesterday that she cannot walk and has high blood pressure.

She was crying profusely at the scene as others tried to comfort her, offering her water at one point.

Asked about police providing counselling services for victims

and relatives of victims of serious crimes, Miller told SEARCHLIGHT that the Family Services Unit does that.

He further said that the Police Force would sometimes seek help from Marion House. In addition, ASP Kamecia Blake, a forensic psychologist, assists in this area.

“It’s not only with the criminal, but also with the victims of crime. So, there are agencies, and there are persons within our own police department,” Miller said.

He said that the Christian Soldiers, a group within the Police Force, or the police chaplain would visit families of these persons to try to counsel and comfort them.

“Practicality is another thing. Because, our policemen who have to deal with these things so often, they themselves will lend their support and give advice to victims and family of the victims. I know you would rather to have an expert in the field. But whatever can be offered in the circumstances we try and do that,” Miller said. (