Guyana’s national police chief says he did not authorize lethal force during deadly protest

GEORGETOWN, Guyana – Guyana’s national police chief says lethal force by riot officers was unjustified during a violent protest that left three people dead and 20 others injured.

Chief Leroy Brummel says Interior Commander Clifton Hicken was ordered to use non-lethal methods to disperse hundreds of opposition supporters who were protesting hikes in electricity rates in a mining town on July 18.

Testifying Monday before a fact-finding commission, Brummel described Hicken as a “short man with a hot temper.”

The deadly shootings by riot police under Hicken’s command prompted furious demonstrators to block bridge access to the remote mining town for a month.

Brummel says he does not know if National Security Minister Clement Rohee gave the order to shoot live rounds.

The commission has subpoenaed documents including Rohee’s phone records.

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