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– rankA senior officer attached to the Mackenzie Police Station yesterday testified that he and other ranks were ‘circled’ by a crowd of angry protesters who threw missiles at them shortly after three explosions occurred near the Mackenzie Bridge.Subordinate Officer at the Mackenzie Station, Sergeant Roderick English, told the Commission that he heard the explosions some ten minutes after Senior Superintendent Clifton Hicken read a ‘proclamation’ ordering the crowd to disperse.At the time, Sergeant English was giving the Linden Commission of Inquiry his account of events that occurred on July 18th, when three Lindeners were shot dead and several others wounded by gunfire.The sergeant also testified that a number of his ranks later returned to the Mackenzie Police Station with less ammunition than they were given.Included in the unaccounted ammunition were eleven cartridges that were in the possession of one Constable Dhanraj, who had left the station with 20 tear smoke cartridges.According to the sergeant, Dhanraj informed him that the cartridges were used at the Wismar/ Mackenzie bridge by ASP Todd, who was in charge of the TSU ranks on the day of the shooting.Asked who instructed Constable Dhanraj to hand over the cartridges, English told the Commission that Todd had given the instruction.But English said that he was unaware that day that anyone had been killed or injured,Wholesale NFL Jerseys, although he was told that two ranks had been hurt.He later recounted that he and other ranks had to guard firefighters from hostile crowds who were preventing the firefighters from putting out fire at buildings that were set alight that day.English was being guided through his testimony by Attorney-at-Law Ganesh Hira, one of the attorneys appointed to assist with gathering witnesses and evidence for the hearing.Recounting events of Wednesday, July 18, 2012, English said that he was stationed at the Mackenzie Police Station.He said that at around 08:30 hrs, he and four other ranks were detailed by ASP Stanton to perform duties at the Kara Kara Call Centre. He said he was unable to recall the names of all the ranks. They were all dressed in blue and black uniforms.MonitoringAccording to Sergeant English, on arrival, they stood some 50 meters west of the Call Centre, where he observed a white Canter truck,Cheap NFL Jerseys, equipped with a music system. He said that about 100 people were present. Asked whether he knew who the people might have been and their purpose there, the sergeant said that he ‘supposed’ that they were part of the group that had gathered there to protest against the raising of electricity.“We were expecting a protest,” English said.The sergeant said that a green bus also stopped nearby and three people exited. He identified them as trade unionist Lincoln Lewis, Gordon Callender, known as ‘Bad Heart’ and PNCR member Aubrey Norton. He said that the crowd gathered around the trio, had a discussion, and then left in a minibus.He said that the bus took the passengers in a western direction, and he suspected they were heading to the Mackenzie bridge. That was around 08:45 hrs.“I contacted Assistant Superintendent of Police Stanton by cell phone and he told me to stay and monitor the situation.”He said that ASP Stanton later instructed him to return to base. At the station, he was further instructed to join the Anti-Crime Patrol, which was headed by Lance Corporal Bruce, but he (English) was placed in charge on joining the group.At around 16:00 hrs, he and other ranks, English said, were called to a class in the police station canteen. There, Senior Superintendent Clifton Hicken, the area commander, briefed the ranks and instructed them to uplift ‘riot store’ at the station and to be on standby to fall in with Tactical Services Unit (TSU) ranks from Georgetown.According to the sergeant, one rank was issued with a CP gun and 20 cartridges; a Constable Dhanraj with a CP gun and 20 cartridges; Lance Corporal Bruce with two Tear Smoke hand grenades, while Sergeant English uplifted a 7.62 FN rifle and a Tear Smoke grenade.He said that Hicken then briefed the ranks about the blocking of the Wismar Mackenzie bridge, “and we would be called upon if needs be.”English said that his unit and the TSU ranks subsequently headed to the bridge. He said that on arrival, the TSU ranks fell into ‘riot unit formation’ near the bridge where several people were shouting expletives.Warning!He recalled that two ranks were holding up a banner at the front of the unit.  ASP Todd, who had a loud hailer, sounded a siren, and then read a ‘proclamation’, which stated that the President of Guyana charged that the assembly was unlawful and that the persons should “go to their private place of habitat.” The ‘proclamation’ was reportedly read about five times.According to English, some ten minutes after Todd had read the ‘proclamation, he heard explosions from the eastern end of the bridge.“I then heard about three explosions…they came from the eastern direction of the Mackenzie bridge.“After the explosions, this appeared to incense the crowd, and they began hurling bottles,Cheap Jerseys From China, stones and everything in reach…”English said.According to English there were three separate crowds present; those at the bridge which numbered about 300; at the northern side about 150 or more; and about 70 to 80 behind the unit.“The unit was circled; we were surrounded,” he said.He said that ASP Todd then discharged a canister from a CP gun. But the sergeant said that the canister appeared to be ‘cold’ since it did not explode.According to Sergeant English, ASP Todd then directed him to throw one of the tear smoke grenades, which he did and the crowd then stepped back.English later said that he was unaware that civilians had been killed or injured, though he was told that ASP Stanton and ASP Todd had been injured.He said that at around 17: 50 hrs he received a call from Hicken that the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) building was on fire.The sergeant said that he left three ranks behind with the vehicle, since he had seen a truck on fire near the bridge and he feared that the police vehicle would also be destroyed.He said that he and three other ranks then headed for the building.On reaching the area, Sergeant English said that he saw about 80 people on the roadway and that the crowd began to verbally abuse and throw missiles at them.PreventedAccording to him, he observed that the GRA hut was on fire and the ranks attempted to extinguish the blaze.  English said that he contacted Commander Hicken and informed him that the crowd was preventing them from putting out the fire, and Hicken instructed him to “use tear smoke.”Sergeant English said that he then instructed Lance Corporal Bruce to “release tear smoke.” English stated that he then instructed one Constable Rodney to discharge a shotgun in the air.He said that the crowd then dispersed and they were able to extinguish the fire at the hut. However, the GRA building, which was also set alight,Cheap China Jerseys, was gutted.English said that about five minutes later he heard a loud explosion and was told that the Linmine Secretariat was on fire.English testified that on reaching the Linmine Secretariat, he saw about 60 people heading for the burning building.He said that the ranks attempted to move some vehicles away from the inferno, and again, Lance Corporal Bruce discharged tear smoke while Constable Rodney discharged a shotgun in the air to disperse the crowd.   He said that debris on the roadways prevented the firefighters from reaching the scene,Wholesale Jerseys 2017, and the building was destroyed.“After failing to save Linmine Secretariat, Hicken called to say that the ‘PPP office’ was in flames.”  The sergeant said that the ranks were forced to traverse on foot because of lumber and other debris blocking the roadways.He said that several people were in the area including about 50 people in the compound.   Again,Wholesale Jerseys From China, Constable Rodney was instructed to fire in the air to disperse the crowd and the fire was eventually put out.He recounted that the ranks were forced to remain on the scene for some 45 minutes since the firefighters feared that they would come under attack once the ranks left.English said that they eventually returned to the Mackenzie Police Station at around 21:30 hrs. He said that he then made a physical check of the ‘stores’ (ammunition) that the ranks had been given “and all were not accounted for.”Included in the unaccounted ammunition were eleven cartridges that were in the possession of Constable Dhanraj, who had left with 20 cartridges.According to the sergeant, Dhanraj informed him that the cartridges were used at the Wismar/ Mackenzie bridge by ASP Todd.Asked who instructed Constable Dhanraj to hand over the cartridges, English told the Commission that Todd had given the instruction.  English is likely to continue his testimony tomorrow.
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