Police Complaints Authority (PCA) head David West is warning police officers to obey the rule of law.
His advice comes on the heels of Wednesday’s announcement by National Security Minister Edmund Dillon that police officers will be more visible to members of the public in all public recreational spaces throughout T&T during the July-August vacation period.
However, noting that there were increasing reports of errant behaviour from police before the PCA yesterday, West said whilst they had no jurisdiction over the T&T Defence Force (TTDF), whose members are to be deployed jointly with the police, he “expects the T&T Police Service and the TTDF to obey the rule of law, especially the rights of citizens of T&T.”
West said from January 1 to present the PCA had received 200 complaints against police officers as compared to 144 for the same period last year. He also said the PCA is actively engaged in carrying out independent investigations into 18 police killings from the beginning of 2018 up to July 4.
“The PCA is of the view that this can be attributed to several factors, namely the increase in the PCA’s drive in public education of the citizens of T&T through our community outreach programmes and the “Did you know” series updated weekly on our Facebook page,” West said.
“Additionally, the PCA’s App has proven itself to be an effective medium for citizens to easily make complaints to the PCA.”
One of the recent cases being investigated is an incident in Never Dirty, Morvant, where masked police were recorded getting out of two police vehicles and firing shots in the community. In the video, a masked officer points a gun at a young man who was part of a group of men passing by the police vehicle and began hurling obscenities at him. Other officers were also heard using obscene language. At least three gunshots were fired as the officers then shoved the men forward and urged them to “go up the road.”