Second Westminster family speaks out against police raids

—relates how `they come in like thieves’

The door the family says that was damaged by the police during the raid on Sunday.

A Westminster, West Bank Demerara family is seeking justice following a raid at their home during the wee hours of Sunday last, by members of the Guyana Police Force (GPF).

This is the second family to have come forward to speak out against police raids, which they said have left their family traumatized and suffering losses.

In fear of victimization, the head of the family spoke to Stabroek News on the condition of anonymity. She said that ranks barged into her home at around 4.30 am last Sunday.

 “We were all sleeping and I hear ‘bramp’! ‘bramp’! And jumped out of my sleep. I pushed out my head looking to see who it was and there was a set of police with guns pointed at me… by time we could have done anything they done deh inside the house,” the woman recalled.

She explained that with a house of seven females, they do not sleep fully clothed, and so, before they could move to clothe themselves, they were forced to lie on the floor.

“They come in like thieves, break away we door… they didn’t call or anything they just come into we house like that… is that how the police behaves? It was till an Inspector Narine come he told us they were searching for guns and ammunition… I work hard in rain and sun selling, where I gone get gun from?” the distraught woman questioned, as she related the ordeal which has left her devastated.

She also indicated that her 16- year-old daughter, who is preparing for exams, has been left shaken from the ordeal as the police had a gun pointed at her and forced her to lie on the stairs when she tried to enquire what the commotion was about. The 16 -year-old had been sleeping in the top flat of the home.

It was alleged that during the raid, several truckloads of police, allegedly clad both in police uniform and civilian clothing, showed up and demanded to search her premises.

“They come into your house, search through everything you have and leave you to pack back… they broke the door to my daughter wardrobe that she buy with she first salary… they break up we house door and it can’t lock properly now and you think they care? They don’t!” she lamented.

The woman went on to say that the Inspector returned with some persons and attempted to fix their door but it still cannot be locked. As such, they are forced to use props nightly to secure the door. As regards the wardrobe, she said they took the door to have it repaired and it has not been returned to the family as yet.

“I need these things to be fixed. I have made complaints to the [Police] Complaints Authority and they promised to look into it, so we are waiting…” the woman said.

In addition, the woman said the police arrested her son who was also home at the time and took him to the La Grange Police Station.

“…they said they are going to profile him, they didn’t find anything at our house but they took him. Next thing we know, he get charged with robbery-under-arms and placed [on] $100,000 bail… these police seem to just pin things on people children…” she stressed. Her son, she said, was charged in connection with a robbery in July.

“These things are not easy to deal with, it tells on your mind after a time… the police are heartless, they are not concerned with how they deal with the situation… they come and torment your family and leave… they don’t know how to treat people,” the woman stressed, while pointing out that her grandchildren are constantly reminded of the ordeal.

“The children were home and they saw what happened…They keep telling us what they see and acting how the police behaves… my grandson see a police vehicle a day and start closing he eyes and praying…,” the woman lamented further.

She is pleading with the police to compensate her for the damage she and her family suffered and find a better approach to carry out raids.

“If the whole house surrounded with police they can’t come and rap on your door? If the whole yard has police, if a criminal in your house, where the person running? The police needs to be more like human begins,” the woman opined.

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