What is delaying this simple ballistic test to ascertain who killed the protesters?
I am deeply disappointed that my colleagues allowed Police Commissioner Leroy Brumell off so lightly last Friday when he spoke about the status of the investigation into the July 18 killing of three Linden protesters.Commissioner Brumell made some damning revelations which should have resulted in him being grilled by the journalists who were present.Out of the Commissioner’s mouth came the revelation that one month after the tragedy, the ballistic tests are still incomplete!As far as I am aware, (and this has been verified by police officials with whom I spoke) there is nothing that should have prevented the police ballistic experts from completing these tests within a matter of days.There have been no reports of a ‘phantom shooter’ at the scene.
The only persons with firearms were police ranks, so the investigators knew up-front that the shooters were their own colleagues.According to Crime Chief Seelall Persaud, an inventory revealed that only four shotgun cartridges were missing from the stock of ammunition that the ranks had that day. Investigators were apparently so certain that no other ranks had discharged weapons that they did not even bother to swab the hands of the ranks who discharged their firearms.The investigators also took statements from those ranks who opened fire. So the police have the identities of the police ranks who discharged their firearms that fateful day. My sources have told me that the Force’s ballistics experts were given four shotgun casings, which were reportedly recovered from Linden.
Copper-coated shotgun pellets were extracted from the wounded and two of the dead. I am told that police have similar cartridges, containing copper-coated pellets in stock. While the ballistic experts would be unable to match the pellets to a particular weapon, they could match the retrieved cartridges (if they were indeed taken from the scene of the shooting) to the shotguns, and subsequently, to the ranks who opened fire.All the ballistics experts would be required to do was to fire the shotguns which were submitted for testing, and, using a microscope, match the firing pin and other markings from the cartridges they fired with the markings on the cartridges allegedly retrieved from Linden.Of course, this test would not reveal who fired the fatal rounds.
However, as a very senior legal official told me, since they all apparently acted in consort, all the ranks who opened fire would be implicated if it is established that the shooting was unjustified.So, although the police reportedly have no eyewitness statements, they can still gather strong forensic evidence against the shooters. So Commissioner Brumell should have been asked the following: What is causing this inordinate delay in conducting this simple test? Have all the shotguns been submitted to the ballistics men? Is it that that the weapons have been submitted but that the ballistics team is occupied with even more pressing duties? But what could be more pressing than carrying out these tests that could either implicate or exonerate the police?
Have the police decided to wait for the conclusion of the Commission of Inquiry, which is likely to drag out into the new year? Editor, in my view, delaying this aspect of the investigation can only lead to frustration on the part of relatives of the dead, and suggestions, albeit untrue, of a police ‘cover-up.’ Michael Jordan3) QUESTIONS FOR PEEPING TOMDear Editor,I am not normally inclined to comment on articles written by personswho shelter behind pseudonyms, especially those incapable ofdisguising their bias. I cannot, however, refrain from commentingbriefly on Peeping Tom’s article in your Saturday 18 August edition”The Protests in Linden did more harm than good”, just by asking thisphantom four simple questions:1. What is the basis of his/her estimate of $300,000,000 forrebuilding the One Mile Wismar School.?2. What were the new investments planned for Linden that would now dryup as a result of the protests? Who are the investors that would nownot be rushing to invest in Linden, and where were these investorsover the past 25 years?3.
Who were the investors that were planning to build the smelter butgiven the political risks involved, are likely to be verycircumspect?4. What are the viable economic alternative routes to the Guyanainterior that he/she, the great clairvoyant, could contemplate forthose devastated miners who are not going to be keen on Linden as atransit point because of the protests and would be looking foralternatives?Sylvester Carmichael4)I condemn the assault on Freddie, but…Dear Editor,The physical attack on Mr. Freddie Kissoon must be condemned. Most of the media reports on the attack are biased as it is suggesting who was behind the attack when no evidence was proffered. Freddie is a controversial columnist who attacks all and sundry. Thus, he has a lot of enemies.
Anyone (government or opposition supporter or other) could have pounced on him and no one therefore should be accused unless evidence is provided to back such claim. To do so would be no different from Freddie’s writings in which he makes unbelievable and unsubstantiated claims.Kissoon does not have any right to assault people (with his pen) destroying their character, integrity and reputation. Kissoon has no regard for truth and he thrives on misinformation and distortion. Kissoon’s writings are just a notch above physical assault. His attacks leave deep scars on people worse than the pain he receives from the physical attack. But no one has any right to assault the columnist even if he touched them the wrong way and in the wrong place.
The sections of the media that are biased in their reporting that suggest that the government or some specific person has something to do with the attack must also be condemned. While it is true that Kissoon is a perennial critic (and attacker) of the government, there are others (from the media, business community, religious forces, community advocates, political activists, etc.) who are the subjects of Kissoon’s poisonous pen. There are many, many more enemies than just the government. No one has come forward with any evidence on who carried out this assault, yet people are indicted.
Even Freddie, in a typical fashion, hints that government was behind the assault on him.The media also needs to provide exact reporting on this and other events – one paper said Freddie was slapped. Another paper said he was repeatedly punched. Another said he fell to the ground. Another did not make mention of him being on the ground. So even the media can get their act together to report on what is a very simple straight forward story. The attack took place at the location of a public meeting – there was no media! No one filmed it?There must be a thorough investigation of this assault. A Commission of Inquiry is needed (after all Freddie is a very important person – nah so Fred) to get to the bottom of it so the attackers can be arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. In the meanwhile, I suggest Freddie stop assaulting others.