‘Do not be misled by social media’ – President Ali pleads with residents to end protest

President Irfaan Ali is calling on residents of East Coast Demerara villages to stop the ongoing protest which stemmed from a misleading Facebook post by a social media page -Guyana Daily News.

“I am urging the residents who are on the road to please stick to facts. Do not be misled by any social media posting or any information that is not verified e.g. what triggered this is a news item that the police who is implicated in [the murder of Quindon Bacchus], was released. Not only is that police in custody, but a second police is in custody,” the President said in a live video on Tuesday.

Protests erupted at Golden Grove, ECD on Tuesday morning and quickly deteriorated into chaos as debris was lit on fire and used to block the free flow of traffic on the main roadway.

The protest is a direct result of a Facebook post made by Guyana Daily News indicating that “Quindon Bacchus alleged killer released from police custody.”

Bacchus was shot and killed by a plainclothes policeman on June 10 at Haslington –the neighbouring village to Golden Grove –ECD, allegedly during an undercover police operation.

The post was made 12 hours before the Public Relations Department of the Guyana Police Force (GPF) issued a statement noting that it would like to debunk the “false claims being made that the policeman involved in the shooting death of Quindon Bacchus was released from police custody.”

It noted that the police rank in question is under open arrest and confined to Police Headquarters as the matter is still under investigation.

President Irfaan Ali

Hundreds of protestors reportedly took to the streets and were marching to Georgetown when the President issued the video statement.

President Ali said, “I am asking residents to please go home, please clear the roadways and 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.”

Further, he called on residents to allow the system to work.

Providing an update, the President said the Police Complaints Authority (PCA) which is investigating the matter, will be sending its file to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) office in the new week for legal advice. The findings of the investigation were initially sent to the PCA on June 13, 2022.

Protestors have allegedly threatened to kill the President and the Head of State said such a threat “is unacceptable.” He added that instigators of the protest must understand the damage they are causing to society.

Twenty-three-year-old Bacchus, was reportedly killed after he was found with an illegal firearm he reportedly intended to sell to an undercover rank. Police said an alarm was raised and Bacchus ran in a southern direction and discharged a round in the rank’s direction who drew his service pistol and returned fire.

Bacchus then ran further south and jumped into a yard, and there was an exchange of gunfire between the two, GPF said. The now-dead man, was found with a .380 pistol and a magazine with one round.

One .380 spent shell and two 9mm spent shells were recovered at the scene.

A PME found that he died due to Multiple Gunshot wounds.