President Ali says, urges patience as Police Complaints Authority wraps up report on death of Quindon Bacchus

(GUYANA CHRONICLE)THE Police Complaints Authority (PCA) will soon complete its report on the circumstances surrounding the death of 23-year-old Quindon Bacchus.

This was according to President Dr Irfaan Ali during an engagement with relatives of Bacchus and other residents of Buxton on Tuesday.

The President’s visit to the community followed a protest which started at Haslington, East Coast Demerara, where persons took to the street and chanted for justice after they were misled by a false media report that the police officer purportedly involved in the killing of Bacchus, had been released.

What started as a verbal chant quickly escalated as scores of persons blocked sections of the ECD corridor with debris and even made their way to Mon Repos, where they purportedly beat vendors, robbed them and destroyed their property.

“My dear Guyanese brothers and sisters as your President, I am asking you do not be misled, do not be used. I understand the hurt but let the system work, let us await the outcome of the system and let us not get emotional and act out of turn based on reports that are not grounded in the truth and facts,” President Ali had said in a video streamed on his official Facebook page prior to his visit to Buxton.

He added: “I am advised that not only is that police in custody, but there is a second police in custody who is assisting with the investigation. The police are still in what they term close arrest.

They are not at large, they are not released; that is totally not true so there’s no basis for the type of action on the road that we are seeing now.”

During his subsequent visit to Buxton, the President told persons that the PCA has assured him that a report on the matter would be finished early next week.

He said: “I called this [Tuesday] morning, the commissioner, I called the chairman, and they assured me that the report would be finished early next week, hopefully on Monday.”

Chairman of the PCA, Justice (ret’d) William Ramlall, in a statement on Tuesday, also confirmed: “The investigation by the Police Complaints Authority in collaboration with the Office of Professional Responsibility has been progressing rapidly. A thorough investigation is necessary in order to ensure a free, fair, and transparent finding. As such, all protocols must be observed and the outcome of that process would be communicated in due course.”

Some residents called on Dr Ali to intervene and have the report completed urgently, but the Head of State clarified that he cannot get involved in an independent investigation.

“Let us give them until Monday to finish the report. I cannot instruct an independent body to finish a report today… [When it is completed] you will see what the outcome is. Like you, I want justice for every Guyanese,” the President said.

He, however, made it clear to residents that he wanted to engage them directly because he did not want the situation to escalate further, especially with there being persons who are purportedly using various social media platforms to incite protests.

Contrary to what was falsely reported by a media house, which has since retracted its article and apologised, the attorney representing the officer in question, Kezia Williams, on June 23, filed a Writ of Habeas Corpus against the Guyana Police Force, the Attorney General, and the Director of Public Prosecutions, in the High Court.

However, on Monday, High Court Judge Sandil Kissoon did not grant the application after the Attorney General’s Chambers objected and informed the court that the matter is still under investigation and De Nobrega is under “open arrest” while still in police custody.

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