We the family of Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Ivelaw Murray request that a thorough investigation into the death of our beloved be carried out so that justice can be served.
ASP Ivelaw Murray served the Guyana Police Force (GPF) for the past 15 years and at the time of his death he was the Officer in Charge of the Springlands Police Station.
The Commissioner of Police has alleged that ASP Murray murdered Constable Kevin Shepherd and then committed suicide. He has further alleged that ASP Murray was involved in actions that were inappropriate within the GPF, inferring that the two officers were involved in a homosexual relationship.
The version given by the Police Commissioner with respect to the circumstances surrounding the death of ASP Murray varied significantly from the findings of the post mortem conducted by Dr. V. Brijmohan.
The post mortem report showed ASP Murray was shot twice in the head. Either shot would have been fatal — rendering him incapable of firing a second shot. The doctor also checked for evidence of homosexual activity on both officers and found none. Further, the Police ballistics report has revealed that no gunpowder residue was found on ASP Murray’s hands.
Even with the wide variation between the Commissioner’s report and the post mortem report, the Commissioner has not sought to amend his version and to satisfy the public that a thorough investigation would be carried out.
Further, we are not satisfied with the level of interest shown in this matter as it does not appear that this matter was treated very seriously from the inception. In this regard, we are asking that an investigation be launched so that justice can be served.
Mother of the Deceased
Have we really moved away from the plantation mentality?
On August 1, 1834 slavery was abolished; by 1838 all African slaves brought to British Colonies in the Caribbean were free! Slavery still remains the most inhumane, brutal and cruel act to have ever taken place on earth.
In Guyana, after slavery, the indentureship period that followed, brought with it many forms of injustices against the free slaves and the indentured labourers who were imported to supplement the manpower needed on plantations, as former slaves branched into other areas of entrepreneurship.
Freed African slaves in Guyana bought vast amounts of land; they bought villages and led a very industrious business life in the communities they formed. Even though no effort was spared by the white colonial planter class to force freed slaves to remain forever attached to the plantations, the slaves did their best to move on and got into other areas of business and agriculture; forging ahead determined to make the best of their freedom. Freed African slaves did own businesses!
Colonialism maintained the status quo of crown and loyal subjects/former slaves.
Trade unionism rose to fight for the rights of workers because they were still grossly mistreated and underpaid by their colonial masters. A leading African descendant Hubert Nathaniel Critchlow will be forever credited for that. Afro Guyanese worked with their other neighbours who were brought as indentured labourers to fight colonialism and gain independence.
Today after 176 years since the abolition of slavery, Afro Guyanese need to take stock of where they are today and ask themselves some harsh questions.
Are we really free? What defines freedom? The colonial masters of old have long been replaced by people we recognise and view as our own; locals. But have we really developed? Have we grown significantly as a people? Have we really moved away from the plantation mentality?
As we read the stories of slavery we must ask ourselves: Do we still see Afro Guyanese among us fighting for their rights? Are we still seeing the house slave mentality being practiced?
To date the Bauxite workers have been left on their own to face the injustices of their employer while the administration (the ruling class) stands back with arms folded watching a section of its workforce suffer.
As we celebrate emancipation 2010, I urge all Afro Guyanese to stand resolute and spare no effort in showing solidarity and support for their brothers struggling in the bauxite industry.
If you listen to their cry for help, you will hear them asking the same question that was on the anti slavery medallion: “Am I not a man and a Brother?”
The drive to build new roads is highly commendable but safety should not be compromised
It is with great sadness that I read the disturbing article (KN of July 27), of the 19-year-old kid who died trying to negotiate a treacherous turn while driving on the Mahaicony Public Road.
How many more road fatalities must this country endure? How many more grieving families must suffer the loss of a loved one?
How many more children must grow up without a mother or father, before the PPP/C Administration and the Police Traffic Department take responsibility for not doing enough to prevent this ongoing disaster.
While on a recent visit to Guyana, I was appalled at the reckless way some motorists drive in heavily populated areas, with total disregard for the safety of pedestrians forced to walk on the street because the sidewalks are taken over by vendors.
Although I’ve seen some progress from my previous visit there; such as some new and working traffic lights, and better roads in some areas, an ongoing campaign needs to be implemented and enforced to protect our citizens… some from themselves.
While there have been improvements in roads, emphasis on proper lighting, road signs, guard rails and adequate lane markings may not have been a priority or budgeted for.
The drive by the Administration to build new roads is highly commendable; but safety should not be compromised.
With all the talk about attracting more tourists to our shores, it is important that our roads be made safe for all to use.
Based upon my observations, the following suggestions will greatly decrease severe accidents that usually result in death and injury:
1. All main roads must be properly marked with reflector paint to separate lanes, and to clearly identify both edges of the road.
2. Appropriate guard rails must be constructed at all dangerous turns, to prevent vehicles running off the road resulting in serious injury to the occupants or to pedestrians.
3. Install adequate street lights and signs on all main roads.
4. Impound all animals found roaming the streets, and impose a heavy fine on their owners.
5. Increase the presence of traffic officers armed with radar guns on long stretches of roads, where motorists are more inclined to exceed the speed limit.
6. Introduce a progressive fine for motorists found guilty of speeding. Suppose the current fine for a motorist exceeding the speed limit is G10,000, he/she will pay that amount if the speed limit is exceeded by 1 to 8 KM. The fine goes up to G$15,000 if the offender’s speed exceeds the limit by 8-16 KM, and to G$20,000 if the speed is exceeded by 16-24 KM. Anything over 24 Kilometers should require a fine of G$20,000 and the suspension of the offender’s licence.
7. Introduce a “points” system for Moving Violations. A “moving violation” is when a traffic offence is committed while the vehicle is moving; such as speeding, failing to obey a traffic sign, or talking on a cell phone while driving. Points should be added to a motorist’s licence in increments of 2 points depending on the severity of the traffic offence committed. When a motorist is reckless enough to have 10 points accumulated on his driver’s licence, his/her driving privilege is suspended. This points system will form part of the motorist’s driving record, which will be used to evaluate the motorist’s safety record for employment purposes. The onus is on the motorist to use the road responsibly at all times, and this points system will act as a deterrent for anyone getting the urge to be reckless.
8. Of course, the above suggestions, even if implemented, will produce zero result until and unless traffic officers are made to suffer severe consequences for accepting bribes in lieu of issuing a ticket. As such, a system should be in place to monitor these rogue traffic cops periodically.
9. Drunk driving is an epidemic in Guyana that must be dealt with decisively. Anyone found guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI), should have their licence suspended. A second DUI conviction will have the motorist licence taken away, and would require the offender to take a DUI and Driver Education Programme before he/she can reapply for a new driver licence.
I am well aware of the added expenditure involved in implementing these safety requirements, but if the Administration can find the money to invest in the Marriott Hotel project and other private ventures, surely protecting the lives of everyone who use our roads, should take precedence.
Dead thief got what he deserved
Some years ago R. B. O. Hart wrote a column titled: “Things that bother me.”
Forget City woes for a moment, I have been reading with some concern the Good Hope, East Coast, Demerara incident where it is alleged a man who violated the privacy of a family – the Persauds, was caught, beaten and died
We grieve at the passing of every human being. However, the old wisdom and saying holds good based on history. A robber or a thief is a potential murderer.
Why are these residents into whose house the dead man entered without being invited held in custody for so long, is mind boggling?
Would the police have preferred to be in search of a killer if one of the Persauds was hit on the head by the intruder and had died?
If this dead man did break into the home of this family, for me, and I suspect the majority of law abiding citizens, he got what he deserved.
How often folks shoot and kill citizens in less stressful or dangerous circumstances; like chasing after an assumed felon.
I am anxious to hear a good logical reason why these men have been separated from their loved ones who they simply tried to protect. There must be something that has not been reported in the media.
I ask every police from constable to commissioner, if someone is caught or seen in your bedroom or home, where your loved ones appear to be, are in danger – or see an intruder removing your hard earned valuables, could you offer them a cup of tea? Or simply say ‘hello visitor’ or even just shout ‘thief.’
I expect an answer, so that when next an intruder violates the sanctity of a household they will have clear guidelines – do not tell us to call 911 apart from known problems, the opportunity may not present itself.
Hamilton Green, J. P.
Is this a case of vigilantism or not?
The arrest of several homeowners in Wednesday’s lead story (“Burglar dies after Good Hope Beating) must be seen as an outrage perpetrated by policemen who lack basic knowledge of the law pertaining to home invasions.
The police have arrested homeowners who have defended themselves against the onslaught of a burglar. Several have suffered injuries at the hands of the burglar who viciously attacked, biting one of the homeowners and wounding another on the forehead etc.
The burglar died in the melee that ensued.
One’s home is his castle – and is accorded special rights and protections under the U.S. constitution. I have never read of a case where a homeowner in the United States is arrested for defending his person and property in the case of a home invasion – even if the burglar dies in a struggle within the domain of the residential property; even if the burglar’s hands and feet are bound to subdue him awaiting the arrival of the police.
Only in Guyana an outrage of this nature can happen. Where is the Director of Public Prosecutions? Shalimar Ali-Hack knows the law. Burglar caught in a citizen’s house in the dead of night. Burglar went on the offensive attacking and injuring several of the occupants. A fierce struggle ensued. Burglar died from injuries later at the hospital. Is this a case of vigilantism or not? The DPP has got to make a decision.
The police are treating this as a case of vigilantism – which it is not. Many homeowners in the United States, especially in the Southern States have guns – and they have in all cases been given the right to defend their persons and property. Usually, in these cases the burglars are killed.
It is not incorrect to say that homeowners are given the right to shoot to kill a home invader. In this Good Hope case the burglar attacked the sleeping occupants viciously.
What does the Guyanese law expect the homeowners to do? Cower in fear, roll over and pretend to be asleep or play dead? Fold their arms and beg the burglar to show mercy?
In this case the homeowners chose to defend themselves. There is evidence of a struggle. The burglar chose to attack. He lost.
Burglars in Guyana need to agree and abide by some sort of an honour code. In the United States, if the homeowner is awake or wakes during an invasion, the burglar flees. In Guyana, in all cases I have read, the burglar chooses to attack, maim or kill the occupants.
As far as I know the Guyana constitution accords homeowners the same rights as the U.S. constitution.
It is time for the Government of Guyana through the office of the DPP to use this case to send a message to would-be burglars, and at the same time empower homeowners.
DPP Ali-Hack, please demonstrate the proper use of your knowledge of the law and the powers of your office – and release those men without any charge whatsoever.
Also those men must immediately be allowed to see their doctors for treatment for their injuries.
It’s our duty to expose those who engage in crime
Many lament the increase in crime in our country, and rightly so. The question begs asking though: What are those very people who express these concerns doing in their communities to arrest the situation?
Criminals, petty or hardcore, come from our communities, from our midst. We are aware of them. But we choose to keep our mouths shut and expect the Minister of Home Affairs and the police to dream up who commit crimes. Communities must share in the responsibility to fight crime by: passing information/intelligence to the police, by confronting illegalities in the infant stages, etc.
Can we deny that in our own communities, we pass youths gambling, residents blocking the roadways with building materials, kids using profanity, use of narco substances? And the list goes on. Has the great majority in our communities ever lifted a finger to stop any of the above? No! They leave it for others to do and they lurk by the wayside to pounce on those who have the testicular fortitude to try to do something. Very, very often those who complain the most are those who do little or nothing to make a contribution to their communities.
It is in this light that I must differ with SNews’ editorial (July 27) which sees the current fan-out exercise by the National Commission on Law and Order as looking at the “lighter side of crime”.
These visits have resulted in many positives. But I concede, though, that the exercise (and the one two years ago) also exposes the lethargy in our communities. The people will gripe, but will not get involved in Community Policing or take up positions as Neighbourhood Police. They remain silent on petty infringements around them, but when the petty criminals graduate to graver crimes they want others to be the exorcists.
I am therefore emphatic in my position that if we allow small-time crimes to go unchecked in our communities, we are breeding big time criminals and monsters, who will prey not only on us, but on the entire society. That is our reality today.
Thus, it is obligatory on all and sundry to assist in crime-fighting. Expose those who engage in crimes in our communities. It is our individual and collective responsibility. The Community has a duty to assist in providing security for itself.
Get involved now or perish!
The AFC’s position is baffling
Sad, but Guyana is a tragedy. At a time when Guyana is begging to be rescued from the jaws of lawlessness, executive corruption, narco-trafficking, murder of its citizens and many other ills that affect this society and a government that cares less about the atrocities, the AFC finds it convenient to talk about the party’s compatibility, and losing the party’s identity and the party’s core principles and who cheated who out of power in a 1964 alliance (some 46 years ago ), while stepping out of a coalition that can possibly rescue this country from untold destruction.
In essence, the AFC has said that the party is bigger than the plight of the people of this country.
What is ironic, however, is the said AFC sat down and worked together with the same incompatible PNC to produce the dossier which is now bearing fruit.
It begs the question, why the said party cannot work together for the final push.
Two answers readily come to mind.
(I) The AFC’s position is purely opportunistic and don’t care a damn what happens to the country if their end is not met.
(2) That the possible alliance between the PNC and AFC is threatening to change the political landscape of this country and oust the PPP/C from office. That process is being seriously undermined and frustrated from deep within the AFC by those who have ulterior motive to ensure another PPP/C victory at the upcoming polls.
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