‘An innocent among police killings’

November 2
The police killings of criminal suspects are being commended by citizens, but among those killed is an innocent person, says the wife of a man shot dead.

Brenda Lee said her husband George Ashby, who was killed in January, was a victim of mistaken identity.

Ashby, a handyman working with at the Tabaquite Composite School, was shot near his home at Tabaquite on the night of January 23. He was driving home from a “cook up” at the school, when he was killed.

Police claimed they were in the area on a report about a car with suspicious men.

The police claimed someone shot from the car, and they fired back.

Police said Ashby was found dead, and the other man ran.

The people of Tabaquite said the police lied about everything, and that the only item in Ashby’s car was a weed whacker protruding from a window.

Ashby was the third person to be killed for the year.

The killings at Carlsen Field on Wednesday of three men who abducted jeweller Imran Mohammed Khan, took the police killing toll to 35 people this year.

The killing of the three has found widespread support among people fed up with the criminals.

But in Ashby’s case, his friends and neighbours are outraged.

Two police officers are subjects in an ongoing investigation into his death.

Acting Police Commissioner James Philbert said on Thursday that a report on the probe was pending.

He said: “I expect to get that in a short time. That file is held up because of forensic results that we need to have. But it is well on the way.”

When Ashby’s car was released to family five months after his killing, relatives found a spent shell while cleaning the vehicle. The shell was handed over to investigators.

Ashby’s wife said on Friday: “I keep calling the investigator. I think they are taking too long. The police said they will come back to talk to the witnesses again before going to the DPP” (Director of Public Prosecutions).

Lee said Ashby’s killing had destroyed her faith in the law.

“They shoot my husband, an innocent man, but in Rio Claro when they killed (Peter Garcia at the courthouse) they couldn’t do nothing. Don’t let my husband die for nothing,” she said.

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