Cops say assault report against Broomes was backed by medical report, witnesses

There was evidence to support the assault allegation made against Guyana Women Miners Organisation (GWMO) president Simona Broomes, the Guyana Police Force stated yesterday, while urging the public to be patient while it investigates.

The police force yesterday issued a press release to set the record straight following several publications in the media about Broomes’ arrest and her subsequent lodging of an official complaint with the  Chambers of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

The release said that the incident at the centre of Broomes’ detention allegedly occurred on April 21, 2013, at Puruni but the victim of the alleged assault, Ann Marie Carter, had been evading the police since then until her arrest in August. Carter was charged with a number of counts of human trafficking in addition to assault, including the assault of Broomes.

Ann Marie Carter
Ann Marie Carter

According to the police, upon being arrested, Carter alleged that she was “brutally assaulted,” including with the use of firearms, by Simona Broomes and other persons in her company. “Her allegations were supported by a medical report and eye witnesses,” police said, while adding that following the allegations Broomes was interviewed by the police and placed on bail.

Police noted that the investigations are continuing as they are making efforts to contact the other persons who were with Broomes on the day in question. At the same time, the force added that the reports in the media, including the statement made by the Guyana Human Rights Association, “display a lot of reckless and unsubstantiated pronouncements being made that seek to vilify the police without knowledge of the facts.”

It questioned whether it is being suggested that “we live in a society where some are more equal than others and under such circumstances, the Guyana Police Force should use the unprofessional approach of selective enforcement to achieve justice?”

The force said its approach in meeting its responsibilities to the people of Guyana is to take a professional stance. In such an approach, it said it is required to investigate all complaints made by all persons.

False allegations have also been investigated and at the conclusion, in cases where sufficient evidence was gathered, persons making the false allegations were charged criminally for doing so, the force added.

“The Guyana Police Force states categorically that its actions have been in keeping with professionalism and are not bent on intimidation nor intended to place any blemish on Ms. Simona Broomes’ record and her reputation, as is being peddled in some sections of the media,” the force said, while appealing to members of the public to exercise some patience and “allow us to employ our procedures that are standard in any investigation.”

Simona Broomes
Simona Broomes

On August 26, Broomes was invited to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Headquarters. When she arrived, she was read her rights and the allegation made by Carter was put to her. According to Broomes, the police told her that the woman was alleging that not only that she had threatened her with a gun but also that she stole a six-ounce gold chain from her. Their encounter reportedly occurred after Broomes and other members of her organisation rescued four girls, aged 14, 15, 17 and 18, from a shop owned by Carter in the Tiger Creek area.

Five hours after her arrest and while she was being processed, Broomes was placed on $10,000 station bail. She described her ordeal as a malicious move to destroy the good work she was doing to combat the trafficking of young girls at interior locations.

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