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T&T | Suspend cops involved in Morvant deaths PCA advised

The director of the Police Complaints Authority (PCA) David West. The director of the Police Complaints Authority (PCA) David West.
PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad and Tobago, July 7, 2020 - The director of the Police Complaints Authority (PCA) David West, has advised Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith to suspend the police officers involved in the shooting deaths of three men in Morvant.

The shooting deaths had caused a major disturbance in Port of Spain last week resulting in roadblocks and fires, with citizens bawling out for justice following the men’s deaths and accused the police of persistent victimisation.

In a statement West “formally advised” Griffith that the officers involved in the deaths of Joel Jacobs, Israel Clinton and Noel Diamond in Morvant on June 27 should be placed on suspension.

In a response, Griffith acknowledged receipt of the recommendation but criticised the Authority for making the information public in a press release.

 “The PCA advised that the investigation was highly sensitive and no further details would be provided since its investigation may be prejudiced.” The PCA added that its Deputy Director Michelle Solomon Baksh had consulted with Director of Public Prosecutions Roger Gaspard SC on the matter.

The police officers whose weapons were discharged during the incident are to be placed on administrative duty, with “immediate effect” a senior police official advised the media..

gary Griffith 460x299In a statement, Griffith said that since he has not received the preliminary report into the police involved killings, it will be reviewed and he will act accordingly.

The Commissioner was critical of the PCA saying it was “unfortunate” that the Authority did not operate in a “professional manner” by issuing its statement before the actual correspondence had reached the Commissioner’s desk.

On Sunday, the Law Association of Trinidad and Tobago (LATT) expressed concern about increased police killings and called on Griffith to suspend the officers involved in the incident.

Protesters in East Port of Spain, Sea Lots and Beetham Gardens last week called for justice following the men’s deaths and accused the police of persistent victimisation and making the men the latest victims of extra-judicial killings.

A 30-year-old Beetham mother of five, Ornella Greaves, was also fatally shot during the protests, sparking more complaints from residents about police actions in “hotspot” communities.

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  • Countries: Trinidad_Tobago

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