Large procession protests manner of death
Stabroek News
January 11, 2002

Brian King, who died from a gunshot wound inflicted by a policeman, was laid to rest at Le Repentir cemetery last evening after a funeral service and procession through parts of Georgetown.

King, a 33-year-old minibus driver, father of four and former resident of Princes and Smyth streets, was shot in the mouth by a policeman early in December of last year but succumbed to the wound last week Tuesday.

Yesterday, many persons converged in front of the Lyken Funeral Home in Norton Street where a service was held for the man. For about an hour, the doors to the funeral home's chapel were locked while close family members were involved in a private funeral ceremony for the man.

However, after standing for some time in the hot sun waiting their turn to view the body the crowd became agitated and persons started to complain. This led to a man, said to be King's relative, gaining access to the chapel through the back and opening the front door so that the crowd could enter to view the body. This disruption saw some family members complaining bitterly but after a while the crowd was allowed to view the body and the ceremony continued.

After the service, the procession wended its way to the bus park in the vicinity of Demico House and then to the man's home. During the procession persons in the crowd bore placards calling the police murderers and calling for justice.

There was a music set in the midst of the procession and this belted out a number of songs, mainly reggae. Members of the procession were heard chanting the words.

Leader of the Justice for All Party and owner of CNS Channel 6, C.N. Sharma was in the procession. Sharma said that he would be calling for weekly protests for justice over King's death.

The police had claimed that King was shot after he attacked the law enforcement officer with a cutlass, while he was attempting to apprehend him. The police had further claimed that the policeman fired a shot in the direction of King and that the bullet hit him in his mouth.

However, King's relatives had said that the policeman had told King that after he was finished with him he would not be able to go on Sharma's `Voice of the People' programme and later shot him in the mouth. Prior to his death, King had gone on Sharma's show and complained about police harassment.

The large procession, which saw people joining at different points, went through several streets before stopping at the Square of the Revolution.

Sharma told the crowd that it was time Guyanese came together and stood up against police brutality. He said that he had requested permission to use the Square of the Revolution to hold the protest and the request was denied, but he still went ahead and organised it and would do so next week and the following week.

The wife of the dead man, Lovern Samaroo, spoke briefly to the crowd thanking them for the support. She said she hoped they would get some justice for her husband's killing.

After some time the procession finally made its way to the burial ground where King was laid to rest.