PNC/R raps police over King's death
Dismayed at civic society's silence
Stabroek News
January 8, 2002

The PNC REFORM said that it was appalled at the reaction of the police public relations department to the death of Brian King, who was allegedly shot at point blank range in his mouth by a policeman on December 2, 2001.

King subsequently died of the wound last week after being hospitalised for some time and later discharged.

The release from the party said that eyewitnesses had testified that the man was unarmed and he was killed in circumstances amounting to murder.

The release declared that it was time the public relations office of the police "stop insulting the intelligence of the Guyanese public." The release stated that the department's belatedly issued press release promised an investigation into the matter but at the same time "trots out the tired excuse that the victim was armed with a cutlass and attacked the policeman, thereby seeking to pre-empt the findings of an investigation by justifying the killing."

The party said also that it was dismayed at the "thunderous silence of so-called civil society in the face of these extra-judicial killings by some elements of the police force and the brutality and impunity with which they are carried out."

The release said that the party had hoped the commissioner of police would have immediately impressed his authority on the police force and the public would have seen evidence of improved discipline, responsibility and professionalism.

"Unfortunately, this has not happened as yet, but we are still prepared to give the new commissioner every support to bring about the much needed changes. We urge him to act promptly and courageously in this matter which has such serious implications for the welfare of the society and the development of our country," the release said.

The party called upon citizens "to protest in all ways possible" against the continuing wanton disregard for human life by some elements of the force.

... Autopsy tomorrow

Meanwhile, the police said yesterday in a press release that owing to the unavailability of a relative, they have been unable to proceed with the autopsy on the body of King to ascertain the cause of death.

The release said that the mother of the deceased has now indicated that she would be available for the autopsy, which will be performed tomorrow.