Important to ascertain motive
Guyana Chronicle
March 1, 2002

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THE Guyana Human Rights Association has issued a report on police killings in Guyana from the period 1980 to 2002 titled “Ambivalent about Violence: a report of Fatal Shootings by Police in Guyana.”

The highlights generally stated that ‘Police Killings’ are not based on ethnicity.

However, a number of persons want to work on a scorecard basis by stressing on the number of persons killed and especially referring to them on a racial basis so their conclusion would reveal that many of the persons killed were of a certain ethnic origin. The report has accepted that there is a problem of extra judicial killings in Guyana and that it has been an on going problem a while back.

Since we have a problem the next step in any proper investigative analysis is to ascertain what is the motive for police killing more persons of one race. Would that help to reduce the population of a particular race in the run for next elections? Or is there some other reason for the killings and what is the reason(s).

This is where the norms, beliefs and customs of the members of police force throughout the world come into play. A critical analysis would reveal a trend of good behaviour from the majority of the members of the police and a small percentage of individuals engage in a culture deemed as inappropriate behaviour.

Killings form a part of this behaviour and Guyana is no exception to this rule. Mind you, I am not condoning these activities, but merely putting a figure to governmental activities and further trying to link it to who made the most killings materialize, is not going to get us any where. Again, what is Government’s motive?

We have to try and curb the behaviour of the Police Force in a manner that is acceptable to us at home and to the world at large.

Mr. Ronald Waddell in a letter to the Stabroek News dated February 26, 2002 made a number of statistical comparisons leaving one to conclude on events without looking at the entire scenario in an absolute way.

Facts are facts. It does not matter how you try to twist and turn them they will remain the same. Police killings are as old as the hills in Guyana and throughout the world.

No one Government is responsible. What we need to do is accept the truth and move on to a solution Mr. Waddell. Maybe, you can recommend a solution to the problem.

Patsy Marks