Kaieteur News – My wife and I had lunch at Bertha and Mackie (B&M) Creole restaurant on Smyth Street opposite the licence revenue office on Saturday. As we were leaving, I decided to pour the ice from my cup into my wife’s cup to take with me because it was a very hot October afternoon.
I have been patronising B&M since 2012. The food is simply delicious. But there is one thing I noticed, when you buy local fruit juice, they fill the cup with an ocean of ice cubes. So, I drove away with an ocean of cubes to drink on my way to Turkeyen.
We took Church Street to enter Irving Street. When we reached the junction of Lance Gibbs Street and Irving Street, I stopped to have my cup filled with coconut water by the vendor at the corner. I pulled up behind a police vehicle. There was a dapperly dressed woman standing on the parapet speaking to whoever was in the vehicle.
I came out of my car, went up to the vendor. He threw away the first nut he chopped; maybe it wasn’t good. After more than 50 years of activism, I think I can detect unusual behaviour of the police on the roadways. The woman looked agitated. I suspected something was not right. I asked the vendor if the police pulled over the lady. He didn’t know.
He filled my cup, I asked him the price, and went to my car to get $240. As I handed the cup to my wife and she went into her purse, I asked if she didn’t think something was strange with the lady. She said the woman is chatting with the police. No, it didn’t look like that.
I approached the police vehicle and it drove away. I asked the lady what happened. She said at the junction of Lamaha Street and Irving Street, she ran the amber. The police drove up behind her and pulled her over. They told her to go to the station and directed her to park in Irving Street at the junction with Lance Gibbs.
I enquired as to why that spot? She explained that they told her she must drive to the nearest police station and directed her to go south on Vlissengen Road and turn into Irving Street. The nearest police station was in Kitty. They told her that they wouldn’t charge her but she must leave some money. She said at that point, they drove away when I came up.
The woman told me that she is a psychologist from India working with Caribbean Surgery on Thomas Street between New Market Street and Lamaha Street operated by well-known city doctor, Surrendra Persaud. It is for the Office of Professional Responsibility of the police force to contact the psychologist and have her give a statement.
I am in complete sympathy with sections of the Guyanese society that believe police pay should be increased substantially. It is long overdue. This should be a priority of the Ali Government. But police ranks who think the pay is too low, should not take the job and coerce citizens to give them money.
Such a depraved conspiracy can only lead to disaster. People will dislike the police. People will not cooperate with the police. The country is the loser. I see all types of police misconduct in and around Georgetown all the time. This sociological aberration is ubiquitous.
A few Saturdays ago, I saw two ranks on motorcycles harassing an Amerindian family of six – a man his wife and four children. This was where Battery Road runs into the Kingston seawall beach right behind both the Marriott and Pegasus hotels. I was coming from the seawall with my dog.
I asked the family what happened. The husband said as he drove out from the beach onto Battery Road, the two ranks stopped them and began asking for papers. I indicated to the ranks that they have to offer a reason for the interception. The answer I got was bizarre.
The ranks explained that the employee from the Ministry of Public Works (MPW) was about to use the barriers to close the beach for the evening and asked all motorists to leave but the family refused and the employee summoned the police. I know the MPW employee very well who knows me and my dog very well. He told me the next day, he did not summon the police. When I came up, they made a call. I asked them who they called. They said the police PRO, Stan Gouveia, and he agreed to let the family go. When I called Stan, he said he did nothing of the sort.
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper.)
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