‘I understand the hurt, but go home, allow the system to work’ – Pres. Ali urges protestors

President Dr Irfaan Ali


Amid violent protests along the East Coast of Demerara over the police killing of 23-year-old Quindon Bacchus, President Dr Irfaan Ali is urging protestors to go home and allow the system to work.

President Ali, who returned to the country last night after attending an energy conference in neighbouring Suriname, went live on his Facebook Page where he assured that tremendous progress has already been made with regards to the investigation of the incident which occurred on June 10.

“As you are aware, this is a matter that occurred some time ago in which the police is accused of using excessive force that resulted in the death of Mr Bacchus…based on the laws, in order to ensure an impartial investigation, the necessary sections of the constitution that provides for the Police Complaints Authority (PCA) to supervise the investigation in conjunction with the OPR (Office of Professsional Responsibility) must kick in…I’m advised that that process has commenced and that process has made tremendous progress,” President Ali said.

He went on to assure that “very early in the new week”, the PCA would be in a position to present their findings based on the investigation to the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP).

Quindon Bacchus

The policeman under investigation for the death of Bacchus is under open arrest and confined to the Guyana Police Force’s Headquarters. A statement was issued by the GPF this morning after controversial Facebook Page Guyana Daily News inaccurately posted to social media that the cop, who hails from Golden Grove, East Coast Demerara, has been released from police custody.

“I’m urging the residents who are on the road to please stick to the facts, do not me mislead by any social media posting or any information that is not verified,” President Ali contended.

“Based on the facts, there was a misleading news item…the suspect is not released … there is no basis for the type of action on the road that we are seeing now,” he further asserted.

President Ali explained that the PCA report, based on advice he received, will be presented early in the new week and he is therefore urging protestors to await the outcome of the matter.

“So, I’m asking residents to please go home, to please clear the roadways and to please allow the system to work…all of us want justice, all of us want fairness but we cannot base our action on misleading information,” President Ali said.

“As your President, I assure you that all time, I would work to ensure there is just and fairness in the system…I ask you to go home, allow the system to work, await the report, let the institutions work,” the Head of State further pleaded.

He also warned that “for those who are instigating this for selfish reasons, you are seeing the damages you are causing”. “It’s unacceptable,” President Ali declared.

“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 term based on reports that are not grounded in truth and facts,” he added.

Meanwhile, President Ali said it was also brought to his attention a video circulating on social media wherein a threat was made to kill the President.

“It has been brought to my attention by a number of stakeholders about a video…in which a direct statement was made that ‘we will kill the president’…there was no condemnation by the one who was doing the live at that moment…this is also unacceptable in a democratic society…but I want to assure all the stakeholders that that is a separate issue and that must also be subjected to investigation.”

Protests along the ECD over the police killing of Quindon Bacchus

Bacchus, a father of one of Golden Grove, ECD was allegedly shot six times about his body following an encounter with police ranks.

It was reported that on June 10, ranks were conducting an intelligence-led operation in the Haslington New Scheme area of the ECD after receiving some information earlier in the day. While there, the ranks said, they contacted a 22-year-old construction worker, who provided them with certain information.

As a result of the information, the ranks went to Bacchus’ home, where he was seen with a firearm in his possession. He had reportedly intended to sell it to one of the ranks.

The plainclothes rank, who was armed, made arrangements to purchase the firearm from Bacchus, who left and returned with the firearm.

In the process of handing over the firearm to the rank, an alarm was raised. As a result, Bacchus ran in a southern direction and discharged a round in the rank’s direction, and the rank drew his service pistol and returned fire.

Police said Bacchus then ran further south and jumped into a yard, and the rank gave chase.

Protests along the ECD over the police killing of Quindon Bacchus

While the rank was in close proximity to Bacchus, the man allegedly discharged several other rounds towards the rank, and the rank took cover and returned fire, hitting the now-deceased man about his body.

Bacchus reportedly fell to the ground, along with the firearm, which was later identified as a .380 pistol with a magazine that still had one round.

Police said Bacchus was picked up in a conscious state and escorted to the Georgetown Public Hospital, where he was seen and examined, but subsequently died.

Linessa Semple, a cousin of the now dead man, had told this publication that Bacchus was murdered by his friend [the cop], and she refuted all claims that her cousin had discharged multiple shots at the police.