Many who cry police brutality have axes to grind
Stabroek News
March 1, 2002

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Dear Editor,

I refer to Peter Young's letter captioned "What about the victims?" and your editor's note thereon (21/2/02).

Mr Young made no remarks as to whether the police were right or wrong as your note implies. Mr Young merely said that the killings, rapes, beatings, traumatisations and robberies executed by the criminals should also be mentioned in any balanced report on crime and police action.

Both the criminals' activities as well as the police's should be mentioned in any fair report. That was all Mr Young said.

Your editor's note or report misinterpreted Mr Young as if he were considering whether the police action was right or wrong. Accordingly, you propounded that the law gave the police no jurisdiction to execute criminals except they were tried in the courts, though this was not an issue in Mr. Young's letter. To be fair and even handed, you should also have quoted the law, which said that the police could defend themselves if their life and limb were being threatened by criminals.

In most cases of criminals being shot by the police the criminals had attacked the police and their life and limb were in danger. Several policemen have been killed or injured by criminals over the last 20 years.

Most of today's criminals are killers or putative killers who use their guns to kill. Last Christmas, for example, a band of killer criminals attacked a Cambio in Alexander Village, spraying bullets all the time injuring people and hijacked and crashed three cars in their escape. One of the cars hijacked was taking a bride to church. The poor bride escaped and hid in some nearby bushes and the driver barely escaped with his life. These criminals were prepared to shoot anyone in their way.

Shortly afterwards, the police went to apprehend one of the criminals who violently resisted the police and he was shot. As usual, your paper carried a report of the criminal's family saying how guiltless he was and how good, harmless and gentle a man he always was from his childhood days.

Most of the people who cry out "police brutality" are politicians or those with political axes to grind. They think they would gain some political mileage from attacking the police and de facto defending the criminals. Stabroek News, willingly or unwillingly, is falling into the same political syndrome.

Yours faithfully,

D.I. Robinson

Editor's note The debate is over the fact that criminals who are not armed or posing an immediate threat are sometimes nevertheless executed.