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Cop shootings on the rise

Mortuary personnel remove the body of a suspect who died during a June 21 shooting incident involving police officers. (FP)

NASSAU — Police involved shootings are up 37.5 per cent for the second quarter of 2012 compared to the first quarter of this year, according to an examination of daily crime reports by The Nassau Guardian.

However, despite the marked increase in the last three months, Commissioner of Police Ellison Greenslade said he does not think there is a problem.

Three suspects were shot in February; two in March; one in April; three in May; and four in June. Three suspects have been shot by police so far this month.

Of the 16 suspects shot by police so far this year in 15 separate incidents, five of them were killed. Four of those killings happened in the second quarter.

Greenslade said that anyone who points a gun in the direction of a police officer or attempts to take on an officer, will be shot “without hesitation”.

“I am not going to interfere with the discretion of a police officer, who feels that he or she is under threat to respond,” Greenslade said.

“Look at the number of weapons we have taken off the streets to date; 318 and well over 5,000 rounds of ammunition. If you just juxtapose the number of police-related shootings against that, it is insignificant.

“If you take the shootings in isolation, then you could perceive that [we] have a problem, but I don’t think so.”

On June 21, police shot and killed two men and arrested two others during a high-speed chase in eastern New Providence.

After the chase ended near the Prince Charles Shopping Centre, one of the men got out of the vehicle brandishing a handgun, which he pointed toward the officers, who then opened fire, hitting him multiple times, police said.

The driver then attempted to reverse the Nissan sedan into the officers, who at that point realized their lives were in danger and opened fire on the suspect, who was also shot multiple times, according to police.

Both suspects were in their late teens.

“I marvel at the amount of cases we have where police officers confront armed assailants and no shots are fired. You won’t hear about it because it’s no news story,” Greenslade added.

Residents from a cross-section of New Providence shared mixed views on the professionalism of police when interviewed by The Nassau Guardian this week.

Quinton Lightbourne, 26, said he thinks police officers are making the right judgment calls when facing dangerous and armed suspects.

However, the Carmichael Road resident said that without knowing all the facts, it would be difficult for anyone to determine if police are being too aggressive in the field. (Nassau Guardian)

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