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Pressure mounts for investigation into lawyer’s alleged abuse, assault, racial slurs to policewoman

Last Updated on Friday, 25 March 2022, 21:28 by Denis Chabrol

Pressure on Friday intensified for a lawyer to be investigated for allegedly assaulting, verbally abusing  hurling racial slurs against a policewoman who was on duty at the residence of his father.

But the Guyana Police Force was Friday officially silent on allegations by the policewoman of the Constabulary section.

Police Commissioner Nigel Hoppie declined to take calls or respond to WhatsApp messages on the incident that allegedly occurred on March 20, 2022 and involved Att0rney-at-Law Nirvan Singh. A number of media personnel’s enquiries about the claim in the Joint Services WhatsApp Group that includes the Public Relations Officers, senior police officers and the Home Affairs Minister Robeson Benn were ignored.

Division 4 A Commander, Assistant Commissioner Simon Mc Bean said his division did not receive a report from Woman Constable Shawnette Bollers. The incident allegedly occurred at the residence of  Singh’s father, former Chancellor of the Judiciary Carl Singh who also did not take calls or respond to messages.  The alleged perpetrator did not return calls or later answer his phone.

A senior official of the Special Constabulary would only say that the matter was being investigated and he referred all enquiries to the Public Relations Department which said it was awaiting a response from the Police Commissioner.

Constable Bollers’ lawyer, Eusi Anderson confirmed dispatching a letter to Mr. Singh, recalling that on March 21 that his father, the former Chancellor, offered an apology on his behalf. For its part, the African Cultural and Development Association (ACDA) virtually rejected Retired Justice Singh’s apology. “ACDA notes the apology of Mr. Singh’s father, the former Chancellor for his son’s reckless behavior, but the perpetrator remains unrepentant. Mr. Nirvan Singh is a conscious offender with no respect for decency and conduct befitting his profession as an officer of the court,” the association stated.

Through her lawyer, the woman is demanding an apology and compensation. “Whilst the iron retains heat, Sir,  I suggest a public apology both written and oral (audio visual) be forthcoming within the next 24 hours. I humbly suggest that same be deeply contrite and same be equal to the damage done. I humbly suggest that whilst doing so you consider a fair amount of financial compensation to offer her,: Mr. Anderson told Mr. Singh.

Mr. Anderson also told Mr. Singh that at this time Constable Bollers was not interested in filing private criminal charges and that she was determined and hopeful that the Guyana Police Force would prosecute him. ACDA accused the Guyana Police Force of failing to take action against the lawyer. “We condemn the leadership of the Guyana Police Force (GPF) for its complicity by its failure to act as required by the law of the land. Guyana is a society based on the rule of law, and no citizen regardless of status or political connection is above the law,” that organisation said, adding that it expected the Guyana Bar Association to speak out. ACDA demanded that immediate charges be laid against Mr. Singh by the relevant authorities. “Failure to do so will be viewed as a breakdown of the social contract that binds the society.”

Through her lawyer, the Woman Constable claimed that Mr. Singh spat on her, chased her off the premises and stated “monkey,” “black monkey” and “black people have no purpose in life.”

In condemning the incident, the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) also called on the Guyana Bar Association to publicly condemn such a behaviour and impose sanctions. That party also wants the police to to ensure that the matter is not swept under the carpet and that the Women and Gender Equality Commission and the Ethnic Relations Commission investigate the matter.