Lawyer denies hurling racist slurs at cop, awaiting court’s decision

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana

Attorney-at-Law Nirvan Singh has broken his silence over allegations made against him by policewoman Shawnette Bollers who once performed security duties at the home of his father, former Chancellor of the Judiciary Justice Carl Singh.

His alleged conduct, which has been the subject of media reports, has been met with condemnation from a wide cross-section including the People’s National Congress (PNC) which has called on the Bar Association of Guyana to publicly condemn the attorney’s conduct as well as to impose fitting sanctions.

But attorney Singh in a letter to the editor denied the allegations. “As a result of my engagement with a police rank providing security services at our residence on March 20, 2022, there have been several reports, rumours, and allegations that are untrue and have no basis in that engagement, or as a result of it,” he said in the missive.

While he is constrained from a specific comment at this time given that the matter is now being litigated before the courts and is, therefore, sub judice, the lawyer, who was admitted to the Bar in October 2017, pointed out that he recognises that there are no such rules in the critical court of public opinion.

Addressing his alleged attack on Bollers, he said, “I, therefore, wish to say that the racist conduct, of which I am accused, in no way reflects my philosophy or personal values. More importantly, it would be an indictment on my parents and elders, given their efforts to ensure that my upbringing would produce in me a person of the highest moral, ethical, and professional conduct”.

The lawyer said that while he waits for the matter to be properly determined in court, he will strive to remain respectful and faithful to his values, to serve his clients from all walks of life with professionalism, and to use every opportunity to be of service or support to his fellow citizens regardless of race, class, or creed.

He expressed that he is eternally grateful to all of those persons, from both near and far, who have reached out to offer support in this most difficult time.

Reports are that the Police have conducted investigations into the allegations levelled against the lawyer and a file has been forwarded to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for advice.

The policewoman has since filed a $150 million suit against attorney Singh. Bollers, in legal documents, deposed that on March 20, she was performing duties at Justice Singh’s Middle and Cummings Streets, Georgetown home when his son approached her and chased her out of the property, forcing her to abandon her post and duties.

In chasing her, the policewoman complained that the lawyer spoke to her in an “aggressive and loud manner” while hurling several racist remarks at her.

She said the tirade lasted for 14 minutes after which she fled the scene and walked a couple of miles to another location in Georgetown in the dark of night alone.

She argued that the words uttered by attorney Singh in their natural and ordinary meaning were understood to mean that she was not a human being and by extension not worthy of recognition in her humanity or human dignity; was not a human being but rather an animal; that her race was not worthy of respect; that her race is synonymous with or akin to monkeys of the black skin colour; that she is not professional and not an individual worthy of respect, visibility, and human identity.

As a result of the publication of the slanderous statements, Bollers submitted that her reputation has been subjected to ridicule and lowered in the estimation of right-thinking persons in society. In support of her case, she said she will rely on the fact that attorney Singh has failed to respond to her lawyer’s letter for an apology.

In a preaction protocol letter to attorney Singh, Bollers’s lawyer, Eusi Anderson wrote: “It is not my place to determine the truth of these allegations, that forum is a court of law. If, however, there is truth in one iota of them, I caution that speaking to brown and black people in that form was last appropriate about 400 years ago and certainly not in the decade of African People. That any person who speaks to a brown person in that manner in 2022, especially in your esteemed office, is both out of time by 400 years and out of place in an era where race is no longer a bastion of insult”.