Commissioners for the Linden Commission of Inquiry travelled to the Bauxite town of Linden
The commissioners for the Linden Commission of Inquiry travelled to the Bauxite town of Linden today to retrace the events of July 18 when 3 protesters were shot dead at the Mackenzie Wismar Bridge as hundreds protested against a move to increase the rate for electricity in the town.
The situation became a bit tense today as Senior Superintendent Clifton Hicken and Assistant Superintendent Patrick Todd made their way through a crowd that had gathered at the bridge to observe the commission’s work. Emotions ran high as residents shouted that those two officers were the ones ultimately responsible for the bloodshed on July 18th. Hicken was the commander of the division. Todd was the commander for the Riot Unit.
Some persons cried out to the commissioners about their feelings and the need for justice in the matter.
4 of the 5 commissioners travelled to Linden today. One who was unwell this morning was forced to abort the trip. The commissioners walked the length the Mackenzie Wismar Bridge. Traffic was brought to a standstill as they tried to get an understanding of what happened and questioned both Hicken and Todd.
The commissioners and the attorneys representing all sides in the matter also visited the half mile area where fires were set to tires on the roads in the aftermath of July 18th and where persons were shot with pellets in August during the ongoing protests. There, some residents gathered again to tell their stories even as it was explained that statements will be taken at the actual hearings.
With a crowd building up at the bridge by the time the commissioners returned there and traffic at a standstill in the scorching midday sun, the commissioners continued to grill Hicken and Todd but in the comfort of the bus they travelled to Linden with. Eventually the Lindeners stepped back and the commission wrapped up its visit. A number of the persons who were injured during the shooting incident appeared at the bridge today and made it clear that they intend to appear before the commission and offer evidence.