'Black clothes' squad accosts reporter on Robb St
June 19, 2002
A reporter employed with the Stabroek News was stopped by members of the
Target Special Squad (TSS) while he was on his way to work apparently
because he was the driver of a white Toyota Corona vehicle.
Oscar P. Clarke, who has been employed with this newspaper for a number of
years was on his way to work at around 9:35 am on Friday, when he was
stopped by officers at the entrance to his place of employment on Robb Street
and ordered out of the car.
Clarke said he was the driver of the white Toyota Corona, PDD 9522, when
the vanload of heavily-armed TSS officers under the command of Sergeant Eon
Smith drove up alongside his car and ordered him to stop.
He recounted that Smith said, "Pull over duh car!" while the officers' vehicle
forced his car into the corner of the road on the left-hand side in front of the
Stabroek News gate. The reporter said at the time three other men were in the
car - his brother, a cousin and a friend.
He said that officers disembarked their vehicle, arms at the ready, stopping
traffic in the process. According to Clarke he got out of the vehicle, as he was
told to, and produced his police press pass, which was in his shirt pocket at the
time. He said that upon seeing the pass, Smith stated that they were only
performing their duties.
However, the other officers engaged in verbal exchanges with the reporter and
other personnel from Stabroek News who had intervened on seeing the
incident. Clarke said that Smith then told his ranks not to "start a story" in front
of Stabroek News. The reporter then proceeded into his work compound and
the officers instructed the other occupants of the car to proceed on their way.
The ranks then boarded their vehicle and sped away up Robb Street. Asked
whether he had noticed the police officers following him, Clarke said no but
recalled that he had noted their presence at the Texaco Gas Station located at
the corner of North Road and Wellington Street.
Clarke lamented the approach taken by the police officers and questioned
whether it was a crime in Guyana for four men to be travelling in a white car.
He urged members of the Guyana Police Force to be more professional when
conducting their duties. He said that while he was appalled at the present crime
situation in the country, it was the duty of the law enforcement officers to act in a