Guyana Chronicle
November 26, 2001

UNFORTUNATELY, just recently, we had an incident where a 23-year-old mother of two, Sonia Jerrick, was allegedly killed by a young police officer, 19-year-old Junior McKenzie.

We as Guyanese need to take a firm stand against people who claim to be upholding the laws when they themselves break these same laws.

I'll share a similar incident with you. On Wednesday, November 7, 2001 at approximately 19:00 hours, I had the chance to witness (fortunately or unfortunately) an incident, which is one of many, that is becoming the norm of our Police Force. A police vehicle was slowly approaching North Road in front of the Calvary Church on Alexander Street. The driver of this vehicle, a male officer believed that the annoying sound of his vehicle's horn sounded welcoming, but he parked the vehicle and continued to sound his horn. In the front passenger seat, there was a female officer. Upon hearing the annoying honking of the horn, two young men probably in their late teens to early twenties, approached the police car. After some words were exchanged by both the female officer and the two men, whom I didn't get the opportunity to hear because of my distance, one of the young men proceeded to walk towards North Road.

The female officer became noticeably annoyed with something the young man said before he walked off. While "speaking" to the other young man who remained standing next to the vehicle, the female officer shouted "Tell that Jackass who says he studying law that I want he and duh car down to de station."

After several minutes had passed, another male officer arrived on the scene. His physical make-up, made him appear as if he just graduated form Training School, quite young and inexperienced. What was even worse, was the fact that attached very neatly to his waist, was a firearm, which only God knows if it was loaded or not.

The officer, who was driving the vehicle, then reversed up Alexander Street towards Robb Street, which we all know is a one-way street. Now isn't this a traffic offense committed by an officer in his full uniform and on duty? Yes, definitely! And if I had done that and was caught, and I had refused to give the officer some "bribe money," I would either get a traffic ticket or spend a night in Police Custody.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but young inexperienced officers are seen with firearms attached to their person, quite frequently these days, as was the case in the murder of Sonia Jerrick.

There's a saying "One bad apple spoils the basket." Much effort should go into the development of psychological tests that will help weed out those candidates who are prone to violence under stress.

This situation will become more and more pathetic if we the decent Law abiding citizens don't take a stand against men and women who claim to be police officers.

And, if there is any police officer, good or bad, who is reading this, please remember, the more respect you give, the more respect you will receive.

Law abiding citizen