John July, the policeman who was injured in a vehicular accident involving Minister of Local Government Kellawan Lall, is recuperating and still crying out for justice.
July was discharged from the Georgetown Public Hospital three months ago with a steel clamp in his right leg, and has not yet heard any favourable word from either Lall or the authorities.
Speaking with Stabroek News on Friday, July said he wants justice served.
July said that whenever it rains he is beset by pain and has to turn to the use of herbs like “cowfoot” bush to ease the pain. He added that he now has to sleep on the hard floor, on one side only, in order to get a good night’s rest, as the heavy steel in his leg sinks the mattress on his bed.
“I come out of hospital the 26th of October and up to now everybody has grown silent on the matter.”
The police force had come under criticism from the Working People’s Alliance (WPA) for its handling of the matter. At a press conference held on September 7, 2010, when questioned about investigations into the matter Police Commissioner Henry Greene had said, “it does appear that the other parties were wrong, but we will have to get that from the final evidence”.
The WPA said it “believes that Mr Greene’s statement in attributing blame for the accident to the injured July, ignores a number of relevant and important actions of the minister and prejudices the outcome of the investigation.”
To date, no evidence has been forthcoming.
At first, July refused to speak with the press, saying that he was told not to, but he finally relented on September 9 of last year and shared what happened that night. He said he and some friends went to a wedding somewhere along the East Coast.
July said he was not too familiar with the area and after spending some time at the wedding he was ready to leave and informed his friend. “We spend a good time you know. So I tell them I say boy me ain’t like this idea. 11 [pm] gone and I deh late far from me home,” said July.
His friend then arranged for him to be returned to the city on a motorcycle. “When we going, every time a vehicle flash to we he tek off he light. When we meet to the bridge, some bridge pun the line top, when we meet deh a bright light shine in we face. Because we ain’t get the right away, we slow down leh this vehicle pass. Next when we decide fuh proceed, we see this vehicle coming toward we wid one speed. Me ain’t know weh this vehicle appear from ya know,” July said.
“So the other broadish vehicle coming with one speed, I say hey watch wha going on hey? Well we deh till in the corner of the wall, you know. Next thing I hear bladdam! We pitch to the wall. When I catch myself, I deh pun the ground, de vehicle drive away and a white car come and tek we to the hospital,” July added.
July said he was told that the vehicle which hit him was being driven by Lall.
In a letter to Stabroek News on September 14, Lall said that “contrary to reports and what Mr July said, I did not drive away. After my vehicle was hit, I immediately stopped my vehicle, which, due to the state of the bridge, was moving at a snail’s pace. Almost immediately, persons who had gathered, assisted in placing the injured Mr July onto the back seat of my vehicle after which he was taken to the Georgetown Public Hospital. At about the same time, the driver of another car kindly rendered assistance to the driver of the motorcycle.”
He added “Mr July sustained injuries to his leg not as a result of hitting my vehicle or my vehicle hitting him. He sustained injuries as a result of the motorcycle colliding with the metal rails of the bridge.
The only time he came into contact with my vehicle was when he was placed in the back seat.”
Lall said that the police would have to do their work to establish the facts.