AWW Inquiry: We didn’t handle it professionally – Police Commander

The SWAT team wore mask during the AWW by-election
The SWAT team wore mask during the AWW by-election

The police commander in charge of the SWAT team during the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election on Monday said his men went to the extreme in handling the violence.

DSP Samuel Azugu conceded the SWAT team failed to use reasonable force in dealing with civilians during the violence.

“They did not handle them in a professional way, the way they were taught to handle such situations. When they arrested some civilians there, some conducted themselves well, some decided to run away after the arrest and my boys pounced on them,” DSP Azugu told the Emile Short Commission.

He added: “As SWAT, some of the men we go on the field with are used as surveillance officers who give us valuable information from areas that most of us cannot go. So when there is an operation and they know that they can be easily identified and can affect subsequent operations they wear the mask. It is not for any bad motive”.

He said the masked men fired six warning shots and did not shoot into anyone.

The three-member commission was set up by president Akufo-Addo to investigate violence during the by-election which resulted in six sustaining gunshot wounds.

It has a month to finish with its public hearings and make recommendations.

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