New York Institute calls for cop-shooting Guyanese Magistrate to be interdicted from duty
New York: The Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID) is calling for Guyanese Magistrate Gordon Gilhuys who shot, and seriously injured, Police Corporal Mark George, to immediately step down from the bench. George is said to be in the Intensive Care Unit of the Georgetown Hospital on a life support.
Guyana Police have alleged that on or about 11:15 last Friday night, a "Police mobile patrol unit observed a heavily tinted vehicle, PJJ 6832, parked on Woolford Avenue, Georgetown." The patrol reportedly stopped and ranks approached the vehicle to conduct checks.
As the officers directed the then unknown driver to turn on the lights and wind down his windows, a verbal exchange ensued. The Police claims that the driver subsequently discharged several rounds at the officers hitting Corporal George in his abdomen.
According to a police statement, the officers returned fire, striking the vehicle, but the driver escaped. The driver, who later showed at the main Brickdam Police station to report the incident, turned out to be Magistrate Gordon Gilhuys, a former high ranking Police officer.
Gilhuys, has alleged that the Police fired at him first forcing him to return fire. He reportedly refused to give a written statement and to hand over his firearm when instructed to do by a senior Police officer. The Police have also claimed that the Magistrate's firearm license had not been "renewed in 2006."
He has been released on station bail as the investigation continues. Hospital officials say that several of George's vital organs have been damaged and that he has undergone at least one surgery.
CGID Director of Communications, Jevon Suralie, chided the Guyana Police for releasing Gilhuys on station bail saying "The Magistrate should have been detained, charged and placed before the courts. This would have been the normal course for an ordinary citizen."
"It is unacceptable that the Guyana Police have released an admitted cop shooter on station bail. It seems that this was not a mistake. Mr. Gilhuys appeared to have calculatedly fired at Police officers in uniform, hitting and seriously wounding one rank. He knows that such conduct is criminal and unbecoming of a judicial official. He must therefore immediately step down from the bench so as to allow the criminal justice and judicial processes to take their natural course, Suralie observed."
He said that CGID accepts the Magistrate's presumption of innocence until proven otherwise as well as his right to due process under law, but stressed that it had made the determination to call for him to step down based on his alleged admission of shooting at the officers.
"This is unacceptable. Justice must appear to be done on both sides and the rule of law must be upheld, the CGID official observed. He also contended that the prima facie evidence which the Police have presented in the public domain is sufficient to warrant an indictment, and thus called on the Judicial service Commission to, in the public interest, interdict Gilhuys from duty.