Elections COI: Fmr. Top Cop says there was “no need” to discipline ranks for violating his orders during 2020 elections fiasco

The content originally appeared on: News Americas Now

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana
Former Top Cop Leslie James

The Commission of Inquiry into the events that followed the March 2020 elections resumed today with former Commissioner of Police Leslie James taking the stand to testify that he never instructed any ranks of the Guyana Police Force to vacate the Ashmins Building as was done on the 5th March, 2020.

James was summoned by the COI Secretariat and testified that on the day in question, he instructed ranks of the Force’s Tactical Services Unit (TSU) to go secure Ashmin’s Building.

However, James said he never ordered that the building be vacated.

According to the former Police Commissioner, he only saw ranks clearing out the building much later via video footage.

James also disclosed that he did not take any actions against those ranks, even though he admitted that they violated his orders.

“What did you do? Recognising that your instructions were violated, at whatever point in time,” the Top Cop was asked, to which he replied, “I didn’t do nothing… there was no need for me to do anything at that point.”

Meanwhile, at the time when the TSU showed up to the Ashmin’s Building, the then Commander of Georgetown Edgar Thomas was in charge. But he was subsequently replaced by his deputy.

The former Top Cop testified that he had Thomas removed after not being able to get onto him.

“I was a bit concerned because this is the commander…we are in a crisis situation and he was unavailable. I had to take action,” James posited.

“I directed that he be transferred to patrol duty.”