File on alleged police brutality at Bartica sent to DPP

The Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) recently completed its investigation into allegations of police brutality at Bartica and has forwarded the file to the Director of Public Prosecutions for advice, Stabroek News was informed yesterday.

The Guyana Police Force however remains silent on the recent appointment of one of the implicated ranks to cadet officer and has made no attempts to contacted businessman Winston Miller Snr. who was left blind in one eye as a result of the incident.

Contacted for a comment on the matter yesterday, the police public relations officer, Ivelaw Whittaker would only say “we are awaiting legal advice”. This newspaper has since learnt that the OPR has completed its part of the investigation and later sent the file to the DPP. It is unclear when this was done.

Senior police officials had told Miller that he would be notified of the outcome of the investigations and more than a month later he has heard nothing. Yesterday he told this newspaper that since the incident he had spoken to several senior officers and was assured that the matter was under investigation and that the implicated ranks were under close arrest in Georgetown.

According to the 69-year-old businessman he has since been informed that the cadet officer has been assigned to the traffic department at a city police station and that the other two have been posted to locations outside of Georgetown. Miller said that on the night of the incident the officer in question was in charge of the Bartica Police Station as the Officer in Charge was in Georgetown.

Miller maintained during the interview that he saw the cadet officer while watching a television newscast last Wednesday “Ah nearly fall off meh chair when ah see that chap”.

He said that though he hasn’t heard anything from the Force in light of this new development he is giving them a little more time before he takes his own course of action.

“They are deliberately stalling things … This sort of thing is not fair to the public at all and they (the police) know that those ranks were wrong”, he said. Miller added that the cadet officer, who he identified by name should never have been promoted but rather he should have been suspended pending the outcome of the investigations.

The upset man told Stabroek News that the protectors of the nation should not batter citizens and be allowed to get away with it. He said that he is very unhappy with what has happened and stressed that he was going to fight for justice; not only for himself but all those citizens who are victims of police brutality.

Miller said that the Police Commissioner and the Minister of Home Affairs are the ones who are in charge of the Force and should work very hard to deal properly with situations like his.

“All they doing is giving them (the police) more vehicles, guns and privileges while society suffers”, Miller added. Around 11 pm on June 5, the cadet officer who was dressed in plain clothes arrived at Miller’s club and tried to enter without paying to see the Ms Bootilicious pageant. However the person manning the door informed him that he had to pay the $1,000 entrance fee like everyone else.

The infuriated officer reportedly returned to the station where he changed into his uniform. He then returned to the club along with three other policemen, including two “black clothes” ranks.

Miller had reported that the cadet officer then demanded that the proprietor of the establishment step forward and when he (Miller) identified himself he was told that he was under arrest and was commanded to enter the police pick up. The businessman refused to comply and later a gun was pointed at him by one of the ranks.

Miller recalled being 2 to the ground and trampled upon while being commanded to get into the police vehicle. He was kicked in his belly and his temple where he had an operation about eight years ago. As a result of this hit he has lost sight in one eye and has since been told that he may never see from it again.

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