The Chairman of the political party, A New and United Guyana (ANUG) Timothy Jonas is calling for an open and transparent process to be established to deal with the shooting deaths of civilians by police.
During a video post on his party’s Facebook page, Mr. Jonas said whenever Police Officers are involved in killing civilians, there are promises to investigate those killings, but justice is never served. He said the situation has been the same under successive Governments.
The ANUG Chairman who is also a Senior Counsel said promises without results should not be allowed to continue.
“In his remarks, the President said let the system work, that there will be an investigation, that has not given anyone comfort because us Guyanese we remember,” Jonas said during a live broadcast.
He recalled that in 2018 under the APNU+AFC Coalition government, three criminal suspects were shot and killed on the seawall by ranks of the Guyana Police Force and although there were promises of investigations to be conducted, nothing has been done since that incident.
He also pointed out the death of another civilian in Black Bush polder in 2019, and a third at Ogle in early 2021.
Mr. Jonas said in all of those cases, promises were made and justice was denied.
He said family members of those who were killed should be given closure and investigations into the incidents must be done in an open and transparent manner.
“The system must have a transparent system of review publicly done so that everyone can see justice being done that is what is necessary. So when in September last year Orin Boston from Dartmouth and the Police broke down the door, entered, and shot and killed him. AUNG demanded that there needs to be a Coroner’s Inquest by the Magistrate in that area to hold a public hearing and inquire into the circumstances of the death of Orin Boston and make recommendations having heard the evidence publicly of what needs to be done” Jonas recalled.
He said there were no moves to hold the inquest.
But even as the political leader noted that there are many more persons who were killed at the hands of the Police Force and those investigations are still to be done, he still believes relevant training and better compensation could result in a better Police Force.
“The quality of Police is going to continue to be poor because if that Police rank on the road is earning $70,000 or $80,000, he is not going to be inspired to go above and beyond in the exercise of his duty and you are not going to attract the kind of people who are going to execute those duties properly and objectively and with sympathy and empathy for the members of the public that they are trying to serve,” Jonas said.
The statement by the ANUG Chairman was made against the backdrop of the latest Police shooting death at Haslington on the East Coast of Demerara three weeks ago and the protests that followed.
He condemned the attack on Mon Repos market vendors by some persons who were part of the protest but said there needs to be a careful examination of the issues facing many communities across the country, with solutions being examined.
According to Jonas, both the President and the Opposition Leader continue to fail to offer real solutions to the problems facing Guyana.