A clean government will demand a clean law enforcement apparatus

Dear Editor,

The day before yesterday Junior Thorrington alleged cop burnt his hands. Last month Alex Griffith was shot in the mouth by a cop. Allegedly. And late last year Colwyn Harding was sexually assaulted with a baton by a cop. Allegedly. When all the qualifying ‘allegedlys’ are removed, there remains the ugliness of something sick, something depraved, and something palpably frightening in the midst of Guyanese society.

These are hideous slashes that darken our days and incinerate our consciences. Or what is left of the latter. Further, the constant administrative, procedural, and day-to-day ruptures intimidate and silence citizens. Cumulatively, the physical, the out-of-sight, and the covered-up scar the eyeballs and castrate both nationhood and manhood.

And yet, and yet, the political masters – starting with the responsible minister – have encouraging news to share with seething citizens. It is the work of a “few rogue cops.” Perhaps there are serial rogues who are rotated from station house to station house to wreak havoc through afflicting the unwary and the weak. Perhaps the real rogues are not the cops themselves, but those who shield them.

What is next? What has to happen before enough becomes enough?

Editor, the powers and the people can all talk until they are toothless about police reforms, and all that such amounts to is trash talk: Empty. Inconsequential. Deceptive. Because, in the first and last analysis, a clean police force (apologies, police service) can only come about when there is a clean government. One more time: a clean government desires and demands a clean law enforcement apparatus. A clean government moves mountains to maintain certain minimum standards (standards that are acceptable to most) in the service and protection of its peoples. The determining factors, the only factors, are a clean government, ethical leadership, and conscientious representatives.

If this is not the case, then all manner of perversity is unleashed; there is no limit, hence Thorrinton, Griffith, and Harding. Allegedly at the hands of cops, of course. Terrible misconduct has to be condoned repeatedly. It is what has been seen and lived in Guyana because of an unclean immoral government. It starts there. I urge others to remember J Edgar Hoover and his commanding relationship with successive American leaders. He had them below the belt and the man could squeeze when it mattered and where it counted. Yes, he could and did.

Now I say that with these continuing instances of so-called ‘roguery’ the PPP government is in a similar position. Because of its uncleanliness and lack of ethical conduct it is held to ransom; it is pulverized below the belly button. And I am not talking about the knees. This is to the detriment of us all.


Yours faithfully,
GHK Lall

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