Thursday, March 25, 2004

T&T: Magistrate as Monday morning quarterback

A PREGNANT female police officer and her male colleague are to be charged with unlawfully killing a teenager who stormed into the International School at Westmoorings in November 2002 and shot a security guard.

Yesterday, Chief Magistrate Sherman McNicolls ordered that warrants be issued for the arrests of the two officers following the conclusion of an inquest into the death of 17-year-old Phillip Seerattan.

He ordered that WPC Suad Weekes and PC Gary Moore be charged with unlawfully killing Seerattan on November 20, 2002, at the International School, Westmoorings. It is alleged that they used excessive force in carrying out their duties.
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Seerattan had left his Mt Anne Drive, Cascade, home driving his father's Audi A6 and armed with a 9 mm Smith and Wesson pistol.

He went to the International School, where he shot security guard William Ramnarine twice. Seerattan was then shot several times by Moore and Weekes in the school's computer room.
How the magistrate arrived at this conclusion is a mystery, especially since the eyewitness ran out the room before the shooting occurred and the crime scene investigator concluded that the killing was justifiable. The magistrate just about rips a new one for everyone involved with the case.

Phillip Seerattan's father's take:
He said although his son, Phillip, had shot security guard William Ramnarine, the police's role was to "protect life, not destroy it".
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The police, he said, had prevented him from seeing his son. He said he was at the school before the shooting took place and if they had allowed him to chat with Phillip, things would have been different.

Seerattan said the situation now was unfortunate but the police officers should have "exercised some kind of caution that would have brought about some kind of reasonable result".

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