The Justice and Peace Commission calls for police reform in Guyana
The Justice and Peace Commission protests the death of Dameon Belgrave from gunfire by members of the Guyana Police Force. Like the killing of Shaquille Grant in Agricola, there appears to be a willing recklessness to resort to the use of deadly force first, and ask (questions) later. This is unacceptable in a civilized society, and must be deplored in the sternest terms.
Given the number and circumstances of police shootings, several questions must be raised: What do police procedures call for in the resort to and use of deadly force? What is the training given to armed ranks as to escalation and restraint? How many more stand to be killed before existing approaches and mindsets to law enforcement are overhauled? And the last questions are: Why are post-shooting procedures seem to be recognized mainly in the breach? Such as swabbing and safeguarding ballistics evidence?
The JPC recognizes that the police have a demanding mandate; that life threatening circumstances rush forward unannounced; and that its members walk a fine line daily. Indeed, it is the line that separates the rule of law from the presence of anarchy.
Still, something is seriously wrong with many aspects of too many police involved shootings. It cannot, and must not continue. The JPC looks forward to the appropriate response from police management. To the family of Dameon Belgrave condolences are extended.