CCTV footage of Linden killings believed destroyed in Secretariat Fire
….as formal murder report is lodged against Police
… By Gary Eleazar
A formal report of “Murder” has been lodged with Police authorities in Linden by the families of the three men who were killed on Wednesday last during protest action in the mining town.
The report was lodged by families of the three persons killed on the advice of members of the Alliance For Change (AFC).
Meanwhile, the AFC team that visited the grieving community immediately set about taking statements from eyewitnesses.
Among those statements given was one that recounted one man taking off his white shirt and holding it up in the air indicating that someone was seriously hurt next to him and for the police to stop shooting.
The injured man was one of the persons who subsequently died.
There is also another equally disturbing account of how the “differently abled” teenager Selwyn Boyea was killed.
According to eyewitnesses, police ranks were attempting to place the young man into a police vehicle when he ran away.
He was allegedly shot while attempting to run and immediately slumped to the ground.
But according to several of the statements issued on that particular shooting, at least one police rank stood over the injured teen on the ground and shot him dead.
The AFC is seeking to secure as much evidence as possible in relation to the killings with a view to prosecution and to aid in the international inquiry.
There are reports also that when the police invaded the bridge, all of the items save and except for two pieces of iron were thrown into the Demerara River.
The items thrown overboard reportedly included bags of rice along with other ingredients with which several old women were using to prepare a meal.
Also thrown overboard reportedly by the police is a small generator which was used to power a stereo set that was on the Bridge.
The stereo set reportedly worth over $1M was also thrown into the river.
In addition to the AFC, several other high level delegations travelled from the Capital to interact with Lindeners.
They include a military envoy headed by Guyana Defence Force’s Colonel Bruce Lovell; Assistant Commissioner of Police Gavin Primo, who has since assumed command of the Division and Fire Chief Marlon Gentle.
Colonel Lovell and his team met with Lindeners and one of the first requests he received was for the Army to replace the police in providing security in the area.
Lovell was told that the Lindeners prefer to have the soldiers provide security as they are more “humane.”
Assistant Commissioner Primo was met with the revelation that up until late Saturday afternoon, the families of the dead were not contacted or even had a clue as to where the corpses were being kept.
The new Commander immediately sought to remedy the situation.
He learnt from the residents that they had no problem with most of the ranks who are stationed at Linden and who were initially at the scene before the arrival of re-enforcements from Georgetown.
Fire Chief Marlon Gentle told this publication that the Fire Service has so far not been able to conduct an inquiry into the fire that razed the Linmine Secretariat.
He said that initial reports suggest that the building may have been attacked.
Gentle indicated that the ranks have seen shards of glass but it could not be ascertained if Molotov Cocktails (Channa Bomb) were used.
Gentle said that as soon as some normalcy is returned to the region, the Fire Service will be in a position to better ascertain the cause of the blaze.
The fire at the Linmine Secretariat on the night of the shooting has reportedly destroyed a significant amount of video evidence also.
There are at least two Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras that have been mounted to monitor the toll booth area for the Bridge.
That was the area where the police approached the protestors and opened fire.
These recordings however were housed in the burnt out Secretariat building.
Following the two massive rallies held in the region on Saturday night the streets across the community remained barricaded with fires littering the roadway.
The Kara Kara Bridge was thoroughly blocked as is every other major road in the area.
Lindeners on Sunday morning awoke to a similar scene as the debris that had been cleared in the wee hours of the morning were replaced and again set alight.
Lindeners vowed to continue the struggle with the blockades expected to reach Bamia out on the Soesdyke Linden Highway.