22 years of murder & human rights violations – guyana police force under the ppp govt

two well known criminals. minister of home affairs clement rohee & daughter rima rohee-paul

Stabroek News Editorial
On Wednesday night, a 15-year-old boy, Alex Christopher Griffith was shot in his mouth allegedly by a policeman who at last word was under close arrest. The Guyana Police Force has so far not provided an alternative story and that will be difficult considering that the boy had been marched off by a group of policemen, shortly before the shooting, without him being accompanied by one of his relatives.
It is more than likely that the alleged shooter will end up before the court on a charge of attempted murder or perhaps a far lesser charge if past experience is anything to go by. Even if the shooter is slapped with the most serious charge possible and there is a successful prosecution – another process fraught with numerous loopholes and weaknesses – no one in society should be feel even the slightest measure of comfort. For, Alex Griffith undoubtedly came within a whisker of dying that very night, will now face lengthy and costly rehabilitation and will be scarred forever by the events of last Wednesday.
Apart from that tragic reality, there is another that starkly faces both the police force and the general public: the barbaric and inhumane culture that law enforcement is steeped in shows no sign of waning notwithstanding the endless streams of hifalutin rhetoric from the Home Affairs Ministry and the force itself. There is a chronic culture of backwardness and brutality in the police force that will not be extirpated unless the entire force is fundamentally reformed. This common sense demand by the public has been denied by the PPP/C since 1992 with the result that the malignancy of cruelty is now endemic and hopelessly so.
Just days after the Annual Police Officers Conference with its lofty aspirations and hints at redemptive action, the new acting Commissioner of Police, Seelall Persaud has a perfect opportunity to critically examine the dark behaviour of the force and to decide how to begin rooting it out.
What is the impetus that drives any policeman or woman, alone or in the company of others, to descend on the home of an alleged 15-year-old robbery witness in the dead of night and to demand his presence by the utterance of a nickname?
What is it that inspires any part of the force to descend en masse – 12 at a time based on Alex Griffith’s mother’s account – for the purpose of demanding to speak to a witness to a robbery? This was no drug lord’s lair except that the police are apparently unable to search for witnesses in these areas.
What moves any member of the force to demand that a supposed 15-year-old witness should accompany him/her in the dead of night to who knows where?
What twisted thinking enables any one member of the police force, let alone around a dozen, to march off with a 15-year-old, no matter how brave the teenager is, without the permission of his guardian and, in this case, after duping her into believing that she would be able to accompany her child?
What seizes policemen to brutalize a 15-year-old “witness” in his own yard and in front of his mother and then casually tell the mother to collect her child at the Brickdam Police Station?
Crucially, what is the mindset in any group of police that would permit one of their number to draw a weapon and fire it at a 15-year-old “witness” to a robbery just moments after being taken from the protection of his home and clearly not being a threat to anyone?
The sequence of events is unimaginable and utterly reprehensible. Given the now high expectations that the government, Minister Rohee and the police directorate have created in the public as a result of the hype over reforms, there should be commensurate seriousness applied to this probe and it shouldn’t be conducted by the police or the Office of Professional Responsibility. Perhaps, the government should importune one of the commissioners in the Rodney probe to spend half a day getting to the bottom of this abomination.
So far the police have spoken about one of their number being under close arrest. From any reading of the events as related by the mother and so far uncontested, each and every one of the policemen and women who were on that mission on Wednesday night should be the subject of this investigation and questioned exhaustively on what transpired before they begin trying to cover for each other and the whole investigation descends into farce.
The grievous assault on the 15-year-old is far from being the exception over the years in relation to allegations levelled at the force over the treatment of youth and the avoidance of protocols related to juveniles. None of the human rights education or the entreaties for professional policing seem to be percolating through the force. It was only days before this heinous shooting that the police force was lectured by human rights activist Mike McCormack about the need for more humane policing with the needs of communities – like that of the 15-year-old boy – being place at the centre of the force’s operations as opposed to antagonizing them.
McCormack told the police officers “Human rights and democratic practice can no longer be viewed as an ‘add-on’, they are central to modern policing. All aspects of policing – investigations, arrest procedures, use of force, recruitment and relations with communities – have to be reviewed from the new perspective of democracy and human rights. The wide-ranging implication of a shift to democratic policing extends to recruitment and the need to screen out elements which are hostile or unsuited to this new approach to policing.”
He had also stressed how important it was for the police to cultivate a positive image in communities.
“Everyday contact with the police in villages and neighbourhoods more defines the image of the police than what they see on TV or read in newspapers. The aged or the person with disabilities, the person lost and in need of direction – particularly if she is female – presently do not look to the police to assist them. As for … emergency calls, the less said the better. Small, everyday encounters shape opinions of the police force as a whole and determine the degree of cooperation the police can expect from citizens. The ‘bad apple’ explanation of corrupt policing is only believable against personal experience of good policing. Conversely, if personal experience of policing is negative, we are disposed to believe all police are that way inclined”, he argued.
Clearly, the officer under whose command the policemen from Wednesday night’s shooting came under was unable to impart this message to his charges.
Twenty-two years of PPP/C governance has thrown up cases of outright murder, the grossest violations of human rights and innumerable other obscenities compliments of the disciplined services. Notwithstanding the enormous challenges that policemen and women face, these outrages cannot continue. The government and the legislature must be pressed to take decisive action to end this scourge.


4 thoughts on “22 years of murder & human rights violations – guyana police force under the ppp govt

  1. These are the G/T Owners ,that cannot Run there own Lives into the Right Directions, not fit for the Job they Holds,but find it fit within themselves to advise the Nations on the very Wrong Ideolgies that cannot functions Efficiently & Productively,’These very same Roge’s Save Tremendiously to get Rich overnight’.Linden Forbes Sampson Burnham, is no match up towards these Rascals.

  2. Has anyone in Guyana been able to make the connection between Donald Sterling’s racism and the ppp? Donald Sterling belong to a culture that practices white supremacy, of which racism is an integral part. He was socialized to be the rabid racist he is today, and that was no accident. Being called out like he was, is paradoxical simply because it exposes what many are led to believe no longer exist. Yet it is insignificant because he is just a leaf in the forest. Who else was a leaf in that forest of thorns and thistles? Our very own blue eye bowjie or ma or what ever her worshippers in the ppp called her. She and Donald Sterling grew up in the same era. Sterling is eighty years old. A few years ago when janet died she was eighty two. The were socialized by the same environment, therefore they knew no alternatives to white supremacy and hatred for people of colour which includes East Indians.
    The same way Donald Sterling uses the African Americans in his Basketball club to satiate his greed for money and power, the same way Janet Jagan exploited the East Indians of this country to claw her way into money and power all the while feeding them large doses of hatred for Afro Guyanese and in many instances, their own who dared to subscribe to another political view. She had decades to indoctrinate and poison the minds of an entire generation in this country And yes she loved them just as much as Sterling loved the Black who are making him millions of dollars.

  3. The inevitability of the prison of naked power


    Dr. Roger Luncheon (I don’t believe in schadenfreude so I am wishing him a quick recovery) told the press there is no need to call early elections because of the 2014 budget cuts. Luncheon then descended to the accustomed comical level of all PPP leaders by going further to state that negotiation rather than elections is the way forward.
    Why is that comical? It is more than asinine. Why negotiate after the budget and not when it was being prepared? Luncheon just said something for something sake. No Guyanese can be that stupid to believe Luncheon and the PPP will negotiate with the combined opposition over the budget cuts. Commonsense has to guide every human being. And in this case commonsense is staring you in the face. If Luncheon couldn’t negotiate before the cuts why would he negotiate after?
    He knows that a snap election is a gigantic risk that the PPP will not take. And for one reason –defeat will not only bring lost power but criminal investigation of the entire stock of governmental action since 1999.
    There are a myriad of reasons why the PPP will not go the electorate before the November 2016. One factor is the prison of naked power.
    Here is what I wrote in my last Friday column about the PPP’s chances in a forthcoming election; “Just days before the voting, the PPP leadership will put on a display of arrogance and vindictiveness.” I penned that view before I knew about a tape that has surfaced. In it, one of the upcoming leaders in the PPP, Nigel Dharamlall, gave an arrogant speech to a large group of Amerindians in which he was nauseatingly intimidating.
    Why would any PPP leader want to speak to people like that? Dharamlall is not the exception. This is the prison of absolute power that has trapped all PPP leaders. What makes anyone in this country think Dharamlall will not do it again just days before a national election? What makes anyone thinks that, Jagdeo, Luncheon, Manickchand, Gail Teixeira, Charles Ramson and Ramotar will not do it just days before the poll?
    Anyone familiar with the deportment of Clement Rohee will know that he is capable of making the most self-destructive political statement just before a national election. Anyone who knows Clement Rohee must know that Rohee cannot help himself.
    This is what naked power has done to the PPP. Juan Edghill told the people of Guyana days before the 2011 election that if Jesus Christ came down to Guyana, he would vote for the PPP. Bharrat Jagdeo told an Essequibo PPP meeting that a powerful media person does not like him because he took away the man’s lover. If one is to enumerate these asininities, they would fill volumes.
    The opposition was given an electoral gift by Dharamlall. Dharamlall could not help himself. He belongs to the younger generation of PPP leaders and he grew up in a culture (article forthcoming on the culture the former racist owner of the Los Angeles Clippers said he was born into; it is important to understand the power of culture) of his elders in the party where there are no limits, put on leaders’ misconduct. I wrote recently that Manickchand’s behaviour was predictable. I got a call on the phone in which the person said, “Freddie, you forgot to mention she was a product of Jagdeo.
    What is ghoulish and that you only find in a Gothic novel is what the elders in the party will say to Dharamlall. Here is just a sample; “You right Nigel, sock it them.” “You right Nigel, those Amerindians need to be dressed down.” “You right Nigel, you put those Amerindians in their place; keep it up.” “I like it Nigel, you come on strong; keep it up.” I am one hundred percent confident that these praises will greet Dharamlall with the following advice; “Don’t worry with Stabroek News; you say it Nigel.”
    I am a hundred percent confident that after her unbecoming conduct in Parliament, Priya Manickchand was given the same encouragement by the party elders. One can just imagine the horrible things that were said against Sharma as party stalwarts rushed to the defence of Manickchand.
    There is the man at the top who told Mark Benschop that he believes in moral politics. But don’t get too curious. You have to understand what the man means by moral politics. In the cultural eyes of the PPP what Manickchand and Dharamlall did was right. Because Manickchand and Dharamlall belong to the PPP and the PPP is the embodiment of truth PPP. That is moral politics according to the Big Man.

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