‘Guyana must heal’ – PM Phillips tells Golden Grove residents
Prime Minister, Brigadier (Ret’d) Mark Phillips on Saturday met the family of 23-year-old Quindon Bacchus – the man who was shot and killed by a cop – and assured them that justice would be served.
“We need justice. We need closure for the family,” the Prime Minister told the gathering at a Memorial Service at the Golden Grove, East Coast Demerara market square.
“We at the level of the government, we respect the rule of law,” the Prime Minister was quoted as saying in a press release from his office.
He also called on the Police Complaints Authority to be more proactive in the execution of its duties.
“We respect the rule of law and we have to await the conclusion of the investigation being done by the Police Complaints Authority.”
The Prime Minister, who visited several affected communities, including Mon Repos, this week, called for Guyana to heal and said that it is time to have progressive talks on moving forward.
“The healing must start from today.” He said this must be done through discussions, respecting differences and highlighting commonalities.
“I’m a proud African Guyanese and I’m very Afro-centric and everything I do, now and in my previous position for 36 years with the Guyana Defence Force is for the defence and security of all the people of Guyana. Today again, I’m working for all the people in Guyana.”
During his walkabout, the Prime Minister visited the church, small business owners along the roadway and the Golden Grove/Nabaclis/Haslington Community Centre, where he listened to the concerns of the residents.
He promised to take counsellors and social workers and to speak to the Police Commissioner (ag), Clifton Hicken to follow up on the reports of damage to stall and equipment.
The Prime Minister was adamant that no Guyanese would be discriminated against under his watch.
He even shared his mobile number with the audience to have open discussions with him if they feel discriminated against.
“As I’m here to sympathise with Quindon Bacchus’ mother and father, I’m also ready to listen to all the people here. All the concerns that you have and this engagement that I’m having with you today is just the beginning.”
Bacchus was killed on June 10 at Haslington, East Coast Demerara during an alleged undercover police operation in which he reportedly tried to sell an illegal firearm to a plainclothes policeman.
The cop, identified as Kristoff De Nobrega, remains under open arrest at the headquarters of the Tactical Services Unit (TSU) while the PCA investigates the matter.
An inaccurate media report by a facetious online entity that the cop was released from custody led to a violent and fiery protest last Tuesday on the East Coast corridor during which vendors at the Mon Repos market were beaten and robbed.