Transgenders, supporters picket police over sloth in drive-by shooting probe

Members of the Guyana Trans United (GTU) took to the area outside the Brickdam police station last week picketing against the inaction of the police in delivering justice to the four transgender sex workers who were victims in a drive-by shooting.

GTU was supported by members of the Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD) as well as other NGOs and individuals sympathetic to the plight of the sex workers.

On April 7, four transgender women came under the attack of pellet bullets while plying their trade at the corner of King Street and North Road. Seon Persaud, commonly known as Isabella and another individual identified as Nick were injured in the drive-by shooting. According to the women, they were faced with hostility while attempting to report the matter to the police station and when they attempted to seek medical attention from the Georgetown Public Hospital.

Present at the picketing was Deputy Superinten-dent N Timmerman of ‘A’ Division, who assured the protestors that the matter is being investigated. When contacted, he said “files were prepared and sent to the DPP.” He continued, “[We] will address the matter, it is not that nothing is happening.”

Spokesperson for SASOD Joel Simpson, commenting on the matter, said he believed this was in fact a case of delayed justice as it has been over a month and no one has been officially charged. He related that even though the police were provided with the registration number of the bus involved in the shooting, they are yet to officially identify the driver and charge him. This stance was reiterated by Cracey Fernandes, Director of Global Network of Sex Work Projects as well as the Co-Chairman of the Guyana Sex work Coalition. Fernandes said it was his view that the police are allowing their transphobia to take precedence over their duties to the people. He stated “The police try to penalize people because they have the power to do.” According to him, in cases where transgender individuals are accused, the matters are dealt with swiftly and often unfairly. He related that this is one of those very rare instances where there is actually evidence of the crime, yet nothing is being done. “We have to be very careful cause people can just come out and shoot people… anyone can come out and hurt us,” Fernandes lamented. He bemoaned that the people of the transgender community have been “psychologically damaged” by the ongoing violence against the community.

According to Simpson, “There are good senior officers who are willing to deal with and treat matters professionally. The problem is with the junior ranks who are transphobic and homophobic. They have an ethical conflict because they want to do their job but their prejudices against the LGBT community is preventing that.” He believes that to counter the quandary there should be “systematic training embedded into the police officers” on how to approach matters of the nature. He said that this system should be implemented from the inception in the Felix Austin Police Training College.

Latest in Local News

Omar Shariff

Ministry of the Presidency official Shariff sent on leave pending SOCU investigation

Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of the Presidency (MOTP), Omar Shariff has been sent on leave by Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, a release from MOTP said today.

default placeholder

Body found in rubble of Wales fire

At 01:30hrs today, police say that a fire destroyed a home at Wales, West Bank Demerara, and the body of an unidentified person was subsequently discovered among the rubble.

default placeholder

Exxon Mobil says second well confirms `significant’ oil find

Exxon Mobil Corporation today said that drilling results from the Liza-2 well, the second exploration well in the Stabroek block offshore Guyana, confirm a world-class find with a recoverable deposit of between 800 million and 1.4 billion oil-equivalent barrels.

default placeholder

Proposed law bans smoking in public places

Proposed tobacco control legislation will see a ban on smoking in public places while cigarette advertising will no longer be allowed and pictorial and text health warnings will have to be displayed on at least 75% of the packaging on tobacco products.

default placeholder

$800M in specialty hospital steel ‘awarded’ to BK

Government needs to explain why about $800 million worth of steel and other equipment that were earmarked for the now-frozen specialty hospital project, went solely to businessman Brian Tiwarie, former President Donald Ramotar says.

Ezekiel Murray

Truck driver jailed for three years for crash causing child’s death

Clyde Barker, the truck driver who was accused of running over 12-year-old Ezekiel Murray along the Friendship Public Road last year and causing his death, was yesterday sentenced to 3 years imprisonment.

default placeholder

Businessman jailed and fined over gun, ammo possession

A businessman was yesterday sentenced to two years imprisonment and fined $100,000 after being found guilty of illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.

default placeholder

Business minister ‘in denial’ over economic ‘crisis’

Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo yesterday said that Minister of Business Dominic Gaskin is in denial about Guyana not being in an economic crisis.


About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: