Gajraj assures of action against errant cops
Guyana Chronicle
December 12, 2001

MINISTER of Home Affairs, Mr Ronald Gajraj has said, once the Court finds sufficient evidence that points guilt to a member of the Police Force who has allegedly committed an offence, the officer will be dealt with according to the law.

He was responding, in an interview, to what the Government Information Agency (GINA) described as “continuous public outcries” for action to be taken against Police officers deemed culpable in extra-judicial killings.

Minister Gajraj pointed to allegations that were pursued and involved parties found guilty by Courts.

He said, recently, charges were laid against three officers who were initially refused bail but were subsequently granted when placed before the Court.

Referring to the recent killing of a young woman at Ann’s Grove, East Coast Demerara, by a young Police officer, Gajraj said it brought further disrepute to the Police Force.

He said, in many instances, criminal accusations are made against officers but the absence of witnesses in Court prevents the law from prosecuting the alleged offenders.

About the shootings of Brian King and Jermaine Thomas last week, Minister Gajraj said both are under investigation by the Police and he assured that appropriate steps will be taken if there is a sufficiency of testimony to support charges of Police brutality.

Another probe is under way into a report that a man was shot by civilian fire Friday evening.

Reacting to a People's National Congress/Reform (PNC/Reform) statement, which called for a full-fledged public debate on Police brutality, Gajraj said the issue is slated for debate in Parliament soon, because a motion submitted to the National Assembly about it has, in fact, been acknowledged by Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Mr Reepu Daman Persaud.

GINA said Minister Gajraj declared:”The actions of a few bad officers should not be used as a yardstick to judge the entire Force… there are good cops in the system.”