Police probed lawyer’s alleged assault of policewoman; WPA calls on President to speak out

Last Updated on Thursday, 7 April 2022, 16:09 by Denis Chabrol

The Guyana Police Force has sought the advice of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) on the alleged verbal abuse, including racially offensive remarks,  against a policeman by a city lawyer, Police Commissioner Clifton Hicken said Thursday.

“The file was completed and it was sent through DCLE (Deputy Commissioner- Law Enforcement) for advice by the DPP (Director of Public Prosecutions),” Mr. Hicken told Demerara Waves Online News.

Mr. Hicken said an investigation was done, when asked if both Woman Special Constable Shawnette Bollers, the accuser, and the alleged perpetrator, Attorney-at-Law Nirvan Singh were questioned.

The Police Commissioner said Constable Bollers  was “not at that location” on Cummings and Middle Streets, Georgetown where the fracas allegedly occurred but was on duty elsewhere.

The policewoman has since filed a private defamation lawsuit against the lawyer in which she outlines her account of the events at the location where she had been posted to provide security services.

Meanwhile, the Working People’s Alliance (WPA) on Thursday called on Commissioner Hicken to treat the Bollers matter with the seriousness it deserves by launching an immediate investigation. The people of Guyana must not support a” police force that is quick to harass and execute powerless citizens but is prepared to protect the  powerful. The overarching role of the police is to serve and protect all citizens regardless of sex, ethnicity, race or social class.

In expressing “outrage” at the alleged verbal abuse of Constable Bollers, said if the claims were true, “they represent a new low for race relations in Guyana.” “It is not lost on the WPA that this incident comes in the wake of the outburst by a Minister of Government a few months ago in which he opined, among other things, that African Guyanese young people do not have role models. Taken together,  these incidents signal a worrying development whereby persons with privilege in the society seem to feel free to openly express racial prejudice,” the WPA said.

That party chastised the government government and the ruling party for not speaking out on the alleged incident, adding that there appeared to be “stony silence” of Indian Guyanese interest groups and commentators in what appeared to be a coordinated effort to play down this issue.

Similarly, WPA wants President Irfaan Ali to speak out on the matter as he ought to represent all Guyana rather than a political faction. “Until the President addresses the issue of racial discrimination, we call on Guyanese to heap  scorn on his One Guyana slogan. Towards this end we call on Guyanese to ignore and boycott his  proposed National Day of Prayer—do not dignify an empty slogan that seeks to mask governmental institutionalization of racial domination and discrimination. A government that remains silent in the  face of public displays of the rhetoric and imagery of slavery does not deserve to govern,” that party said.

The WPA also called for a national conversation on the issue of race relations in Guyana.