Sep 25, 2018  Features / ColumnistsFreddie Kissoon

You are not going to believe this. It is true; I swear so. The very day that the Ryan Crawford incident hit the news, I saw random stopping on the Railway Embankment on which I live. The very next day, when the Crawford story was the hot topic for discussion, I saw random stopping on the very spot on the Railway Embankment.
On the third day after the Crawford imbroglio was still being talked about, I saw random stopping on Sheriff Street outside the Botanical Gardens. I pulled up. The two cops saw me, jumped on their motor-bikes and rode away. I am advising all drivers to get real – random interceptions are not going to cease. Random interceptions will not go away.
By now those who are regular readers of this page will know that I have pledged that such an anomaly will be not be visited anymore by this columnist. After more than six articles, three requested statements by the Office of Professional Responsibility and witnessing random halts by traffic ranks every day, I just think I have no more interest in that subject. This is Guyana. Guyana has psychologically broken down.
The police have real problems with observing legal rules and administrative propriety therefore, random stops will go on and thus there is no purpose in writing about it further.
I am saying with superabundance of confidence that during the trial of Crawford, with press coverage reaching all over Guyana, the police will be making random interceptions.
The ranks and their superiors will not be deterred by the trial and back off. I repeat – random stops on the roadways of Guyana by the police will go on forever. The sooner you as a driver accept that, then the less anger you will vent.
I met Ryan Crawford once. It was in the studio of Dave Television in Region Six. It was during the 2015 election campaign. We chatted about Guyana, discussed the race problematic and talked about the AFC. Crawford struck me as a man who understood Guyana and its immense faults. He certainly came across as intelligent and perceptive.
Judging from our little dialogue, I would not have expected him to descend to the irascible levels he did. In this country you just have to understand it is a troubled land with damaged psyches. Once you are aware of the pitfalls of your country, you will avoid the trap and infamy of tsunamic semantics.
freddie-kissoon-300x273I consider myself a citizen that mingles with people all the time. I am always on the roads; I am always shopping. I see life in Georgetown in all types of shapes and angles all the time with occasional visits to other regions notably Region 3, 5, 6 and 10. I see heartbreaking things.
I intervene but unlike Crawford I do not lose my grammatical sobriety because I know my country. I know what it has become. I know about the damage done to the collective psyche of this nation.
Two weeks ago I was driving to the airport with my wife and daughter. I saw random stops by the Madewini police. Outgoing travellers were being harassed. I pulled over to intervene; my wife would have none of it. At the departure lounge at the airport, I saw Guyanese security personnel hassling departing Cubans.
I went up to one of them, and indicated that the last person on this earth that should be rude to a foreigner in Guyana is a Guyanese because Guyanese are all over the world hustling a living.
I was polite. I know what Guyana has become so it didn’t make sense to remonstrate with the security rank.
Ryan Crawford lost his temper and he is now in trouble. The police charges were expected. There isn’t a police force in the world that would allow what Crawford did to go without a reaction. The circumstances did not favour Crawford.
Only one type of situation favours the abuse of a policeman. It is when the rank becomes rogue. You are certainly going to assault a policeman if he stops your wife for a traffic or criminal violation and fondles her. Such a reaction is justified in my opinion.
Crawford, if he felt that the policeman was acting wrongly should have refused to comply and just sit in his car and call his lawyer and advise him/her to get in touch with a senior officer or drive away.
If he had driven away, he still would have been charged but the charge would not have been as severe as it is now and the explanation to the magistrate would have been more plausible.