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They should be thanking the police for saving their lives

They should be thanking the police for saving their lives
Body of police sergeant Philbert Chambers being placed in a vehicle (file photo)

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Commissioner of police (COP) Collin John is of the view that if the police had not shot Gleason Lewis, he would have eventually killed or wounded members of his family.  

Lewis, the man who police say shot and killed police Sergeant Philbert Chambers on Sunday April 26, 2020 was killed by lawmen at his home in Campden Park that same day.  

His parents, Glasley and Marcelle Lewis, are up in arms over the amount of time the police is taking to hold a Coroner’s Inquest into the death of their son and Sergeant Chambers.

The parents are also of the opinion that Sergeant Chambers was killed by friendly fire and not by their son who was shot over 50 times by police on the Sunday.  

“I visited the scene of that incident the morning, and while approaching the scene, I met the father of the boy and the father said he has been in this suit of clothes about four days because the guy chase him from the house and threaten to kill him, and he was afraid to go back to the house,” COP John recalled of the morning Sergeant Chambers was killed and another officer, Verrol Sam, was shot in the leg. 

In a press conference on Tuesday at the office of their lawyer Kay Bacchus-Baptiste, Lewis said that clinical psychologist Joselle Miller had told them to seek psychiatric treatment for their son who appeared to be having mental issues.  

Lewis said also that the family had moved from their home in Campden Park because of the behaviour of their son, and they were staying at one of their daughter’s home in Clare Valley when Gleason was shot and killed.

He said the police had gone to the Lewis residence on more than once, and on one occasion, they responded to a report of Gleason being violent.  

The COP said that after Gleason was shot and killed, his mother and two of his sisters were called to the area where the body was, and the police searched Gleason in the presence of his relatives.  

“One firearm was immediately in front of him by the door and when we searched him we found different types of ammunition.  

“He had on different layers of clothing and we found different types of ammunition in different compartments of the clothes.  

“We found another firearm on him. Subsequently the house was searched and we found a flare gun,” the COP revealed.  

He said when the weapons were discovered, Gleason’s mother commented, “that is why he always walking around bulky and always pulling up his pants.”  

Commissioner John thinks that the parents should not be in the media accusing the police of wrongdoing. 

“If it would not have been unprofessional for us, we would have said the police should have allowed the guy to do what he intended.  

“The parents shouldn’t be on the media castigating the police, they should be thanking the police for saving their lives, because based on their report and based on the action of the guy, they could have been in a position where they would not have been able to go to the media and say the police did this and did that.  

“The police in all frankness saved their lives from their son,” the COP stressed.  

He said also that the parents are part of the reason the Coroner’s Inquest has not been held, as they have been refusing to give a report to investigators.  

“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,” the John commented.  

He added also that the parents and their lawyer Kay Bacchus-Baptiste, are stating that they have evidence to show that Sergeant Chambers died from friendly fire so he thinks that they should put forward the evidence.  

“They say they have evidence about the shooting, bring the evidence and if they are not comfortable with giving the evidence to the police,  give the evidence to the Police Oversight Committee, but don’t come and say they have evidence and they can’t produce the evidence.  

“To be honest I think they are ungrateful, because we literally saved their lives from their son,” Commissioner John said.  

He noted also that after the shooting, officer Sam travelled  overseas for medical attention as the bullet broke his leg, and he was out of the state for a significant period of time and could not give a statement earlier than he did. Sam has still not returned to work.   

“In my opinion I would prefer for it (Coroner’s Inquest) to have been done already. We do not have anything to hide or cover up anything,” the commissioner stressed while noting that ballistics could possibly be part of the  Coroner’s Inquest.