Trinidad's Police Complaints Authority launches probe into police killings
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, CMC – The Police Complaints Authority Monday said it has started “independent investigations” into fatal police shootings in recent days involving members of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service.
Six people have been shot and killed by police since the start of the year.
The latest killing occurred on Sunday when a 31-year-old electrician from Brazil Trace, San Raphael, in Central Trinidad, was shot after police said they had sought to arrest him on a robbery and malicious wounding charges.
The police said they were responding to a domestic dispute call involving 31-year-old Allister Pierre when they were attacked by the suspect.
They said two officers were injured during the attack with one suffering a broken hand.
Pierre was taken to a health facility where he died while receiving treatment.
In a brief statement, the PCA said that it had taken note of the “number of fatal shootings over the past four days involving members of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service.
“The PCA would like to assure the public that on its own initiative independent investigations have been commenced into all of the incidents pursuant to Section 26 of the Police Complaints Authority Act”.
It said it was also urging members of the public “who were witnesses to or persons with information on or regarding the incident to kindly contact them."
But Police Commissioner Gary Griffith said while he is not here to defend any police officer in cases of wrongdoing “let us not be judge and jury every time a police officer is engaged in an exchange of gunfire the media automatically finds the family member who somehow always there when something takes place”.
Last week, police shot and killed a taxi-driver in Central Trinidad.
The relatives of Allan Mohammed said he was brutally killed but the police maintain they were shot at by the 24-year-old man, who was a known member of the “Unruly Isis” criminal gang.