I dislike criminals, but they can't be murdered
Stabroek News
July 31, 2001

Dear Editor,

I wish to commend your Sunday Editor for the bold step taken in the editorial entitled 'The Mandela Avenue Killings'. We need more of this type of journalism in Guyana. The editorial rightly said that this isn't going away. Hence, I wish to address the President, Mr. Jagdeo.

Sir, I have always known you to be an honest and principled person since we were students at the same university and I have no reason to believe that you have changed over the years. The frequent charges of police brutality and wanton killings of citizens are serious ones in any society and no less so in ours. I have often heard the Commissioner of Police deny these charges and members of your party dismiss them. Well here we are at the crossroads...more than two independent eyewitnesses corroborating. Their accounts of the event differ from that of the police. Something needs to be done, now.

I cannot begin to express the horror at the thought of our police shooting disarmed people in the back. Sir, are we to expect as a trend this kind of violence against our citizens- criminals or otherwise? I shudder to think of what the consequence would be if my countrymen get it into their heads that they have to start defending themselves against the police. We have inherited so many things from the British, what about good policing?

I dislike criminals, I hate their activities and I feel that they should be severely punished. But to have thugs, psychopaths and murderers dressed in uniforms venting their hatred on society can never be condoned. This isn't going away.

With all the things that Guyanese are going through the last thing we need is an intimidating police force. This isn't going away, this can't go away. The police should be investigated by an independent body and the murderers should be punished. Your failure to bring this about can send two messages 1) you have joined the ranks of the corrupted, 2) you are powerless to act. If so Mr. President you should give way to someone who can deal with criminals, corruption and renegade policemen. The people elected you to protect them from any form of brutality and to do so is your duty.

Yours faithfully,

Keith Whyte.