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Working People’s Alliance (WPA), while condemning the brutal slaying of Darymouth businessman Orin Boston by the SWAT Unit, said there are many unanswered questions surrounding the death of the father of two.
Boston, 29, was shot dead in his home during an anti-crime operation on the Essequibo Coast on September 15. According to him wife, Fiona Boston, he was shot in his sleep but the Guyana Police Force has alleged that it was during a confrontation. The heavily armed unit was in search of prohibited items.
In a recent statement, WPA questioned how such an operation deteriorated so quickly, resulting in the death of an innocent man.
“WPA also asks whether the stated objective of searching for and recovering prohibited items necessitated the use of the SWAT team,” it further asked.
The Alliance said Guyanese should not be comforted by the initial police account of what happened. “The explanation that Mr. Boston reached for a weapon and a confrontation ensued is standard police rhetoric that is all too familiar to the public. The statement from Ms. Fiona Boston, the victim’s wife and witness to what occurred, contradicts the police statement and appears more believable,” WPA said.
WPA said while it respects the quick decision by the police high command to announce an investigation through its Office of Professional Responsibility, it does not believe that will suffice.
“We have no confidence in the police investigating itself in these circumstances. We therefore lend our voice to those who have already called for an independent investigation. Of course, such an investigation is expected to tell us what happened and serve as the basis for prosecution of the accused,” it urged.
WPA said that it is time the country finds a way to end the culture of extra-judicial killings.
“While this scourge has bedeviled Guyana from the Middle Passage to the present, it has become more pronounced over the last three decades under PPP governments. The value of the lives of predominantly African Guyanese males has been devalued by a police force which seems to become more trigger-happy under the PPP’s stewardship of the country. The instances are too many to enumerate in this press release, but the political linkage is inescapable,” WPA reasoned.
It added: “No modern society should have to experience this fascist behavior by the State. The savagery of kicking down doors in the dark of night and executing citizens in the presence of their women and children speaks volumes of how compromised the rule of law and respect for human rights have become in Guyana.”
The party said it has also taken note of a report by another citizen, who claimed similar treatment by the SWAT team on that very night. The man claimed that he was tied up while the team carried out its search. “What kind of police force and political regime facilitate such barbaric behavior by lawmen who took the oath to protect and serve?”
WPA said it stands in solidarity with the people of Dartmouth and the broader Essequibo community in their acts of public outrage. “They are obviously familiar with the script. Coming on the heels of the still unsolved executions of the Henry cousins and Haresh Singh and the case of Peter Headley who was killed while in police custody, the wounds are still fresh on the collective consciousness. WPA therefore heaps scorn on those who are more concerned with the stemming the flow of protest than with stemming the flow the blood of human beings,” the alliance said.