What was the purpose of that hastily-arranged news conference by the Police Service with respect to the investigations into the death of Shannon Banfield?
The news conference was held on Tuesday afternoon, one hour after the suspect, Dale Seecharan, appeared in court charged with Shannon’s murder.
Deputy Commissioner of Police, Wayne Dick, appeared at the news conference with two junior members of the Homicide Bureau.
In response to a question from a reporter, Dick said that under his “astute leadership”, he was satisfied with the investigations, and showed praises on his team.
Dick showered praises on the management of IAM and Company whose Charlotte Street, Port-of-Spain store, was the place where Shannon’s decomposing body was found on December 8.
Dick said the management of IAM fully cooperated with the police in the investigations. But his statement contradicted a press release from the Police Service, dated December 8, which stated that IAM did not cooperate with investigators when Shannon went missing on December 5.
The Police Service stated that despite the best efforts by investigators, the management of IAM did not hand over video footage from the store.
So who really is Dick praising or commending from IAM? They did not cooperate with the police before Shannon’s body was found on the third floor of the building.
As far as Dick was concerned, Seecharan was the only suspect in the case. He ruled out other persons as being involved in the killing. He denied reporters that organs from Shannon’s body were removed.
He also revealed that IAM store on Charlotte Street was handed back to its owners one hour before the press conference. He said the store was always a crime scene and until it was properly processed and searched, it remained in the hands of the police.
The public must remember that just after Shannon’s body was found, IAM’s owner, Ishmael Ali, was more concerned at reopening his business for Christmas. When social media turned on him, he recanted.
Most of the questions asked at the press conference were not answered because as far as Dick was concerned, the matter was now sub juice. So why call a press conference? The reporters remained baffled at the answers.