Mothers call for justice for shot sons
Shaquille Grant’s mother, Shonette Grant and Carol Bollers, the mother of another injured man, currently in the Brickdam lock ups, were among those at the Alliance for Change press briefing, yesterday.
Grant was the teen who was shot and killed in Agricola on Tuesday.
Carol Bollers expressed concern for her son’s health since he told her that he was in pain from the bullet wound to the head. The mother requested that her son be released since no one could tell her why he was detained.
For Grant, it was only memories returning when she spoke about the shooting incident. She said her son was not the only one gunned down in Agricola. She remembered 1996, February 14 when another resident was reportedly shot and killed by police.
She also recalled when a named officer reportedly dusted his foot on youths rounded up and thrown into a police vehicle. The mother lamented that nothing has changed. “Mothers are still seen at the police stations crying for their sons and the normal thing is that the youths have weapons.”
The mother asked why the police were unable to get the relevant evidence to show that the young men had fired weapons. “…They say they are criminals. Just suppose that when the police got there the guys had firearms, you test their hands, you must see some form of gun powder. Any well-trained police would know that. If we had so many bad youths in the community, how come no policeman never die and it’s always the youths? “ Grant asked.
The mother however said that all she wants for her son is justice.
Protest against “police brutality”
In the meantime, angry residents from Agricola protested in front of the Brickdam Police Station emphasizing their disapproval of the police’s action that led to the 17-year-old’s death.
Community members, family and close friends of the slain youth faced the Brickdam Police Station for hours displaying their thoughts about the incident on placards. They called the police’s action a cold blooded murder. “Its, murder, its murder, its cold blooded murder,” they chanted.
While at the protest, Grant told Kaieteur News that instead of celebrating her son’s birthday today (yesterday), she is out protesting for justice after his murder. She said the residents decided to protest outside the police station since they believe that the police were unjust in their actions.
They argued that the police killing was unlawful and thus called for the Commissioner of Police to meet with them for an approach in dealing with the incident.
“We need the Commissioner to come out and tell us something. We need Warren Blue to be charged for murdering my son. We want them to tell us about this gun they said they found.”
And the Youth Coalition for Transformation (YCT) also expressed condemnation of the police’s action in relation to the Agricola shooting. The organisation said that residents’ account of the incident reveal an extrajudicial killing.
The YCT expressed concern over Guyana returning to an age with the alleged “black clothes squad”. “YCT hopes that Guyana will not return to the days of mayhem with the notorious black clothes death squad that defined an ugly part of Guyana’s history which saw a romance with crime in officialdom that resulted with the resignation of Ronald Gajraj, as Minister of Home Affairs after mass public outcry and international condemnation.”
A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) youth arm lament the need for “effective reform of the Guyana Police Force beyond the procurement of resources for department and divisional work but with emphasis of professionalization of officers with continuous training and adherence for standard operating procedures when engaging citizens to protect life, property and information gathering in fighting crime.”
YCT renewed the call for the resignation of Clement Rohee as Minister of Home Affairs.
“The Minister has failed Shaquille Grant and many others and it is time he be excused of his service as Minister of Home Affairs.”