Sep 24, 2021 Letters
Whenever I see actions of the state following certain well-travelled routes, I manage expectations. Precedent and commonsense tell me that the game is up, goose cooked, and regular menu served. The official covers are labelled procedures and process. I detect this at work with the Orrin Boston murder over there in Dartmouth.
State actors make fervent public promises following inconvenient tragedies. But a different kind of practice occurs behind the scenes, with specific objectives in mind. The first is limiting fallout, aka damage control. Of recent, we have been graced with immediate visits from police brass uttering seemingly sincere commitments, and then this vast vacuum of silence. More than a week after the Dartmouth killing (called by some an ‘execution’), and after an intolerable and agonising interlude for the family and community, the second careful step falls into place. It is not so silent, as the official intention is to give the impression that things are moving, and of paramount importance. It is evidenced in sending the matter up the ladder. That is, to the Police Complaints Authority. It should be a welcomed step, but one need not be a cynic to appreciate that the wheels are being greased with specific outcomes in mind.
Tragic accident is one. A slight case of overreaction in a split second is the second. The third is that it was dark, which handicapped decision-makers on the ground in that fateful room. A tragic bed, it was. And a likely fourth, which could be attempted, is that there was the fatal judgment call compelled by what was suspected to be menacing movement on the decedent’s part. The first falsehood was confrontation, so others are not off-limits. This is of Orrin Boston, and his grieving family, first. It is also of me and you, fellow citizens, for, once again, no one is safe from those who come like skulking curs in the deep dark of the dawn that never rose for one man and his family. Last week, it was Orrin Boston in Dartmouth, he will not be the last. Or to say it differently, so that all Guyana understands: who is next?
As can be gathered by now, I have scant confidence in the deliberations and purity of the Police Complaints Authority. For, I detect in its supposedly comforting presence, another entity which is part of the national culture, part of the sometimes-nuanced exercises towards foregone conclusions, which confirm that the fix is in, the outcomes were decided. All that is left is for the PR gurus to put their sanctimonious stamps on the final product. As other examples, I tender the EPA, and the magistracy in parts. I am glad that the Office of the DPP has stepped things up a notch or two, but there is much more ground to go. We cannot have truth and justice, when deceivers are at the helm of this land. And when there is no justice, there is no hope for much else.
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