Duty of police is to apprehend not kill
Stabroek News
April 10, 2002

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Dear Editor,

Do the "Black Clothes" Police understand the meaning of extra-judicial killing? When would they understand that the primary objective of the police force should be to apprehend and not to kill a person suspected of committing a


With each passing day the differences between the criminals and the "Black clothes" Police are becoming blurred. Each time I hear or read of the exploits of the "Black Clothes" Police or the criminals I find it hard to differentiate between the two, because they both have total disregard for the laws of Guyana.

I am a law-abiding citizen that wants to respect and trust all policemen, but the actions of these policemen are eroding that trust. We all know that the job of a policeman is dangerous and is compounded by the inadequacies that currently affect the police force, but that does not mean that the police should sink to the level of the criminals. The police must rise above the decay and perform their duty with dignity and professionalism. They must serve, protect and may I add, preserve life.

No self-respecting, law-abiding Guyanese should condone the execution of an officer of the law, it must be condemned from every corner of society. However, the same must be done when the police seem to be engaged in a tit for tat killing of its own. The killing of Shaka Blair seems to be the "Black clothes"

police response to the execution of their leader, Supt. Leon Fraser. The tales surrounding Blair's demise mirror that of an alleged criminal, Victor Bourne. Is this the modus operandi of the "Black clothes" Police? Is this the order they were given? Kill, kill and kill them all. When will it stop?

Those Guyanese that support this type of action by the police do not realize that it has a profound effect on the presumed innocence of each and every one of us should we ever be accused of committing a crime. May God forbid that an accusation be deemed as false after the fact, maybe then and only then the diabolical behavior of these officers will really register.

Finally, I wish to appeal to my fellow Guyanese at Buxton to stop the destruction of public and private property in the name of protest, it would not serve your cause.

Yours faithfully,

Vance Reid