Lawyer moving to have Special Target Squad disbanded
Guyana Chronicle
January 8, 2002

ATTORNEY-at-law Mr. Joseph Harmon announced Friday that he intends to press for the disbanding of the Police Special Target Squad, a member of which shot and killed Toyin Anderson, a suspect in the December 22, 2001 Alexander Village, Georgetown cambio robbery.

The lawyer said the victim’s death resulted from an extra-judicial killing and he is still looking at all the ramifications.

“Of course we are waiting on a call from the authorities to mount an enquiry into this matter. We (will) ask that a coroner’s inquest be conducted.

“We will also lend our voices to the voices of other Guyanese who are actually demanding that the activities of the Special Target Squad be subject to further investigation, with a view to being disbanded,” Harmon stated.

“I think we can ask for nothing less as citizens than for it (Special Target Squad) to be disbanded. They have committed sufficient atrocities against Guyanese citizens,” he added.

Anderson, of Samaroo Dam, Pouderoyen, West Bank Demerara, who was also implicated in the 1998 America Street robbery at another Sarjoo cambio, masterminded by the late Linden ‘Blackie’ London, was fatally shot by Police, too, in the vicinity of his home.

Deceased Anderson’s brother, Melville Anderson, who returned to Guyana shortly after the shooting, said his sibling had received a telephone call on December 22 and immediately looked through a window at his home before going through the door.

The surviving Anderson said several cops in bullet-proof vests with huge weapons ran after his brother.

“As they continued the chase through the yard, Toyin retreated to an adjacent property when an officer pointed his gun over the fence and opened fire.

Other Police ranks kicked Toyin about the body and he was on the verge of surrendering when he was blasted at point blank range, Melville Anderson asserted.

“Based on our investigations, we are confident that, on December 22, the Police were acting outside of the parameters of the law when they shot Toyin at point blank range and, as such, I have instructed my attorney to take the necessary legal action against the Police Department,” the other Anderson declared.

The United States-based Anderson said he would draw the incidence of local Police brutality to the attention of the Guyanese community in that country through the print and electronic media.

Anderson denied a report that his brother was armed, as well, at the time he was killed.

Harmon said prior to his demise, Toyin Anderson reported to the Police twice a week, after he was placed on bail following the America Street heist and, therefore, there was no reason why they “gunned him down the way they did”.

According to Harmon, since 1993, there have been 140 reported cases of extra-judicial killings by the Police.

Police Commissioner Floyd McDonald said he could not respond immediately and needed some time to do so.

Meanwhile, Ms Deborah Backer, the lawyer who was moving, through the Court, for the removal of McDonald predecessor Laurie Lewis when the latter stepped down, said she continues to be disturbed by the “senseless killings” that have been taking place.

“At the level of Parliament, we made representations and, presently, a motion is before the House,” the People’s National Congress/Reform Member of Parliament reminded.

Backer added:” This has been going on for too long. It is getting worse. We had the horrendous case of Brian King who was shot in his mouth.

“I think every citizen must be concerned about what I see as the continuation of this senseless killing that is escalating.”