High Court Judge Frank Seepersad says the time has come for every police station to have operational CCTV surveillance cameras and for each officer to be outfitted a body camera when he leaves the station. He said such a system will protect both the public and the police officers.
The outspoken Judge says the war against crime is being fought both outside and inside the TTPS: “It is evident that in this society there is not only a war which is unfolding by criminals on the streets of this Republic but there is clearly a war raging within the Police Service where there are errant dishonest and criminally-inclined police officers who are bringing the service into disrepute and who are causing irreparable harm and damage to the public’s confidence in the police service and therefore the war against crime has to be fought both internally in the police service and externally with the criminal element which abounds,”
The Judge was commenting in the wake of a matter involving police brutality in which PCs Murray Mohammed and Ronnie Edwards who were accused of kidnapping, robbing and beating civilian Clint Attong in a police station, and the added situation whereby Mohammed is currently attached to the Special Investigations Unit of the Police Service.
The judge ordered the defendants Murray, Edwards, the Attorney General and civilian Premchand Sookram to pay damages to Attong for assault and battery and false imprisonment for five hours as well as exemplary and aggravated damages.
Justice Seepersad was also shocked and appalled that to date no disciplinary action has been initiated against the officers or no decision taken in relation to criminal charges, particularly kidnapping and robbery, the judge directed the Registrar to send the transcript of the proceedings and judgment to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and to the Commissioner of Police to determine whether criminal charges should be instituted against the officers.
Seepersad also strongly suggested that the commissioner make an immediate determination regarding disciplinary charges against Mohammed.