A story doing the rounds involves some policemen. The police are there to serve and to protect, and this recent story shows that the police are indeed serving and protecting. They are serving themselves and protecting those who can pay for the protection.
In September they arrested a young man with a submachine pistol and a large quantity of ammunition. This has not been the first time that something like this has happened, but it is the first time that top officers in the force are involved in this situation.
Normally, when the police make an arrest the suspect is taken to the police station and processed for court. Indeed, the parents may be influential people. Many will have money and will try to bribe the arresting officers.
There was a high-profile case where people were arrested and prosecuted for offering a $4 million bribe. To any policeman this is a very large sum. But in this case, the person to whom the bribe was offered decided to report the matter to his superiors.
There have been numerous other instances of bribes being offered. In some cases, the person who was asked for a bribe decided to report the matter. He was then encouraged to mark the money and a sting was set up. The policeman was prosecuted and cashiered.
In this case, something serious happened and remained under cover for almost six months. Some say that the issue came to the fore when somebody was left out of the loop.
Because newspapers hardly ever follow-up on an issue, situations are left to die. In this case, the arrest was reported but nothing else.
We now hear that one investigating officer was approached, but he sent the matter on to someone else. It is not stated that he reported the offer, so one can only conclude that he suppressed a crime.
The person making the offer did approach others. The report now states that the sum of $10 million was offered and accepted.
The word out there is that the lead investigating officer is involved. If that is the case, then I can only assume that this particular matter will get nowhere. The evidence is in the custody of the police, but there is no report of whether the weapon was found in the possession of an individual. This could only mean that the suspect would walk free.
The report on the matter would be so distorted that when the file is sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions, the action taken would favour the suspect. I have since heard that the DPP ordered the release of a licensed weapon found at the scene, but ordered the detention of the submachine pistol.
Weapons like these apparently abound in the society. Many innocent people have been killed during home invasions or otherwise. Every such weapon that is seized means that one more person would live longer.
The Police Commissioner is now asked to mount an investigation. Who will he get to investigate one of his senior officers?
Just recently, Kaieteur News published a series of articles emanating from a report by the Guyana Medical Council. There was a case of medical malpractice at a city hospital.
The Council was able to mount an investigation, because there are enough senior medical practitioners to investigate their peers. The report was damning, but it never saw the light of day, because inside the council there were other doctors who closed ranks. Some were attached to the hospital where the malpractice occurred.
The relatives of the victim are at their wits’ end to get something done. They have the evidence of the report by the medical council, but will this report be approved by the existing medical council?
One family has gone to the courts over another case of alleged malpractice. I do not know where this will end, since medical practitioners will be asked to testify against their own.
Situations like these force some institutions to create independent bodies to monitor such situations and to take action. In the United States there is a body within the police force that investigates policemen.
The job is dangerous, because rough things can happen to the person investigating if he/she is exposed during the investigation. But this agency has enough experienced people to avoid any confrontation. There are enough senior people who would have retired with very senior ranks to undertake the task.
While these people may be safe, the policeman who dares to squeal on his comrades is literally dead meat.
So we come back to this situation in the Guyana Police Force. It may be time to set up a private organization to conduct the investigation. There may be people who could do the interviews, but there is the problem that what is said about one of the people being investigated would be leaked back to the subject.
I would like the police to get to the bottom of this situation. An ordinary person would have been languishing in jail. That is why they say that there is one law for the rich and another for the poor.
A Chinese national knocked down a pensioner on a pedestrian crossing and killed her. To this day the identity of the Chinese national has not been disclosed. Worse yet, the individual has not been prosecuted, although the death was recorded on security cameras in the area.
I do not want to believe that the entire police force is rotten, but issues like these foster the belief.
I do not envy the Commissioner. So far he has said nothing.
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