Following his suspension and the revocation of his supernumerary precept, security guard Robert Goodluck, who was involved in a confrontation with Junior Natural Resources Minister Simona Broomes last month, believes that he is being targeted.
Olsen Hazel, Chief Security Officer of the KGM security services, to which Goodluck is attached, told Stabroek News that Goodluck had been suspended since the night of the incident involving Broomes.
When asked how long the suspension was expected to last, Hazel said a definite time had not been set, while noting that the company has taken this course since it needs to “clear up” certain aspects of the matter.
He added that if Goodluck returned to work, he would not perform duties with a firearm. “If he is working, he has to work with a baton. Not a firearm,” Hazel said.
Although charges were not recommended against any of the parties involved in the altercation, Goodluck’s precept was revoked by the police, who instructed KGM security services to not allow him to use a firearm.
The precept authorises the holders to act as supernumerary constables.
Crime Chief Paul Williams previously told Stabroek News that Goodluck’s precept was revoked after background checks revealed that he was charged and convicted overseas for a gun-related crime.
Goodluck, this newspaper was told, was charged in the United States with manslaughter and two class ‘C’ felonies for attempted sale of a controlled substance in the 3rd degree. He was convicted and deported to Guyana in July, 2010, after serving his sentence.
“His precept was revoked, so automatically his privilege to carry a firearm will be revoked,” Williams, who said that a background check was launched separately from the incident involving Minister Broomes, explained.
Hazel said the company was unaware that Goodluck was charged and convicted in the United States for a gun crime.
He explained that when an individual applies to work with the company, an employment letter is drafted and sent to the General Office at Police Headquarters, Eve Leary, for the screening process to begin. “General Office now will do the fingerprinting, send it over to CRO (Criminal Record Office) and they does indicate to us if the person [has] a record or not,” Hazel said.
He noted that in Goodluck’s case, the police indicated to KGM that he did not have a record and as a result he was subsequently granted the precept. “We take the police work for granted,” Hazel noted.
‘I did nothing wrong’
As a result of the revocation, Goodluck said that he believes that he is being victimised because of the incident involving Minister Broomes.
“I cannot work without my precept. I am here just trying my best to get my life together,” he told Stabroek News.
He related that on the night of the incident, he wasn’t paying attention to Minister Broomes as he was more focused on her driver, who was “very aggressive.” He said since the incident, the focus has been on him and his colleague, Josh Ramroop, but not the fact that the minister’s driver pulled a gun on them during the incident.
While it remains unclear if the driver was using his own firearm at that time, Stabroek News was told that he was questioned as part of the police probe.
Goodluck further explained that since his deployment at the location, he had interacted with many high ranking officials, including diplomats and ministers of government and he never had any similar encounter. “I did nothing wrong. She never identify herself. We were polite to her,” he stated.
As it relates to the screening process that he was subjected to, Goodluck said it was a lengthy one and it took about two years before he was granted his precept. This, he said, included a lengthy interview by the police.
He further explained that he previously used the name Robert Wren, under which he was convicted in the United States, but discontinued doing so upon returning to Guyana since every time he attempted to conduct a transaction, he was told that he needed to use the name on his birth certificate, which is Robert Goodluck.
The man said he is unclear what the next step will be for him since he needs to consult with a lawyer.
Williams has told this newspaper that Goodluck’s record was not initially detected during the screening process since he was convicted under the name “Robert Wren.”
“Remember, there was nothing indicating to us that this man [Goodluck] would have had a conviction or anything. Because remember the name that he was going under was not the name under which he was convicted,” Williams noted, while adding, “Remember now, the name that he would have given, when we would have ran our record and database and everything, it would have showed clear that is why he could have gotten a precept.”
“The name that was given to us when investigating the incident with the Minister, all of that would have put him in clear ends throughout, but then, subsequently, it was reported that this man’s name is Robert Wren, too, and he was deported,” he had said.
Goodluck and Ramroop were involved in an altercation with Minister Broomes and her driver in the parking lot of the Amazonia Mall at Providence, East Bank Demerara on the evening of Sunday, July 8th, when Broomes visited the mall to purchase food from the New Thriving Chinese Restaurant.
Broomes had claimed that she and her driver were verbally abused and threatened by the two security guards but surveillance footage of the confrontation showed otherwise, which placed scrutiny on her conduct during the episode and in its aftermath.
Nevertheless, based on her initial complaint, the two guards were detained by police for 16 hours before they were released on their own recognisance.
The police said in its first statement on the incident that a “thorough investigation” was launched following allegations of abuse and threats against a minister and her driver. It did not name Broomes. “Initial enquiries reveal that both parties seemed to have been very aggressive,” the statement had said.
Ramroop, in an interview with this newspaper, had also said that neither he nor his colleague pulled a gun on Broomes and her driver as was claimed to police.
The police have since announced that based on legal advice received, no charges would be laid against either Broomes, her driver or the two security guards involved in the incident.