The first media practitioners to be on the scene of the murder of policeman Romain Cleto were Dale Andrews and me. We arrived shortly after the shooting. A crowd surrounded us and began to talk to us. They pointed us to where the spent shells were on the ground. Eyewitnesses saw the tragedy and were openly talking about a clear-complexioned young man whom they said shot up the police vehicle.
Where did the police find a dark-skinned young man who dons a natty dread hairstyle? They invented him, charged him, and the DPP released him from his murder indictment. And she would have done that only if she was convinced that the evidence was not there. Before we speculate on the reason for the police indictment, the people of the world who followed this police action must now understand that people can confess to crimes they did not commit, because torture is a punishment they seek short term relief from.
A very strong human being with a resilient psychology may remain defiant knowing that if he confesses to murder he can get the death sentence. But a majority of humans cannot withstand immense torture.
I read where the Americans during the war on terror, drove a suspect to virtual insanity because they played crazy music every minute for weeks in his ears. Very few humans can sustain that kind of torture. Not caring about the consequences that follow a confession, a suspect will admit to a crime he did not commit just to end the pain.
It would appear that Shaka Chase signed his admission statement because he wanted immediate relief from his pain.
The story of Shaka Chase’s so-called confession reveals the dark side to injustice in this country, perpetrated by the police for decades. My nephew was charged for stealing a few coconuts from one of the richest Guyanese, who is perhaps one of the richest men in the Caribbean. When I went to Eve Leary to see him, he had already singed a confession statement along with his other two friends. I was annoyed he did that, but this was what he said to me; “Uncle Frederick, the guards were beating us bad in our heads.”
I insisted to the Brickdam CID that if my nephew was charged then this tycoon’s guards have to be charged for brutality. You won’t believe what happened after. The tycoon sent down his two sons to Brickdam to argue on behalf of his guards.
This super-rich Guyanese has guards that severely beat his employees for stealing. And you should see how the police were like slaves to the sons of the multi-billionaire.
They could have given the police gifts that Frederick Kissoon couldn’t, but I was not prepared to see the guards go free. The only reason my nephew was not charged was because a high profile media practitioner was bent on exposing the conspiracy whereby the wealthy in Guyana pay the police force to do their bidding.
The head of the civilian oversight board of the police, Patrick Mentore, was a former student of mine and is a friend. I will be at his office everyday to complain against police depravities in this country. The police are out of control and let us see what Patrick and his team are going to do about it.
Now the million-dollar question – who tortured Shaka Chase? Should not an investigation be started? Shouldn’t civil society insist that there be one? The police just cannot drive around Guyana picking up suspects and torturing them because they want to please the political directorate.
If we had a competent Home Affairs Minister then the police would have caught their killer days after Mr. Cleto was murdered. But Clement Rohee put one camera on top of the Bank of Baroda building at perhaps the busiest intersection in the entire 83,000 square miles of Guyana, and it was fixed in one direction only. But why blame Rohee? How many others of his Cabinet colleagues are wiser and more competent?
My opinion is that the political directorate, in order to cover up their incompetence and the camera fiasco, needed a quick solution. The police as in a game of the Wild West, just grabbed Shaka Chase at random, brutalized him and charged him. In doing so, the political directorate and the police could not have been bothered that in prosecuting an innocent man they would leave behind a trail of tears from a crying mother, wife and children.
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