The Guyana Police Force and several outspoken residents of the Canal Number One area have discredited the accuracy of a story by two men who had claimed that they were simply racially profiled and beaten at Two Brothers, Canal No. 1 Polder, WBD by the residents of that community.
The men’s story and bloodied images were trending heavily on social networks and within the local media since Tuesday, and had triggered many aggravated comments from the public, which were often swamped with racial overtones, forcing the Social Cohesion Ministry to appeal for calm.
However, a Guyana Police Force investigation that was led by Divisional Commander Assistant Commissioner Leslie James, have yielded statements that have since painted a different picture from what the two victims are claiming.
According to the police, the two Georgetown residents were in the area as the guest of Mr. Ewart Lewis, who is a serving member of the Guyana Defense Force.
After some time, both men and Ewart Lewis’ family decided to head back to Georgetown in a bid to seek out some further holiday entertainment.
But on their way out of the Canal Number One road, they made a spontaneous stop at a shop which saw Mr. Lewis, his reputed wife, and another family member exiting the vehicle while leaving the two men in the car behind.
Eyewitnesses and the police have since confirmed that while in the shop, another man rushed in and told a group of men imbibing there that he had observed two strange men removing the external mirrors of another villager’s car.
A check was then promptly made, and the owner of that car discovered that his external side-view mirrors were indeed missing.
At the time, the two men were discovered outside of the Lewis family vehicle and could not have provided any explanation as to why they had exited the vehicle or whether they had removed the mirrors in question.
Somewhat confident that the men were up to no good, several irate residents encircled them and began to demand that they produce the stolen mirrors.
But while one man remained calm and deny any knowledge of the missing mirrors, the other chose to jump into the canal and remain there while residents threw objects at him.
Even then, eyewitnesses claimed that the men’s own relative and their in-law who is a respected soldier in the community was suspicious that the men probably had something to do with the missing mirrors, and did not make any major attempt to defend them.
Instead, the soldier conducted a search and subsequently found the two stolen mirrors thrown under another car that was next to his vehicle, in which he had left the two men.
By then, the police had arrived and subsequently took the men into custody before taking them to the hospital where they were treated and discharged.
However, public opinion on social media seems to suggest that the vigilante assault on the men were racially charged, and thus prompted the police to release them initially without an investigation.
But while the men had denied stealing the mirrors from the canal number two car, a well-known underworld figured had alleged that at least one of the men is known to him as someone who sells stolen car mirrors, mirror frames, mirror cases, and other small vehicular parts for a living.
It still remains unclear as to whether any further investigations would have to be done, or whether the men or their assailants will face any charges.