Saturday, January 20, 2018

CoP: Too early to talk about charges

ACTING Police Commissioner Stephen Williams says it first has to be determined whether the Facebook video showing a mother beating her child involved citizens before an investigation can be launched to determine of criminal charges should be laid.

The controversial video showing the woman beating her 12-year-old daughter with a belt was posted on Facebook over Easter weekend.

Williams made the statement yesterday at the Police Service’s weekly news briefing at Police Administration Building, Port of Spain.

Questioned on if any action will be taken against the woman, as is being called for by some members of the public, Williams said it was too early to make such a statement, saying he did not have the opportunity to view the video.

He said the first necessary step that had to be taken is for officers to determine if the video was locally made and, if so, then it has to be further determined if the woman committed a criminal offence.

The beating took place after the girl posted indecent photos of herself on the social networking site, which were later discovered by her mother.

Since the posting of the video, it has gone viral, become a popular discussion piece for the past few days on social media and radio talk-shows.

Some members of the public have been calling for the woman to be prosecuted, saying she went overboard with the beating; while others expressed their support for her, saying she was simply disciplining her daughter.

The girl and her sister have since created another video and posted it on the site, expressing love for their mother and asking that no legal action be taken against her.

Williams said whenever such a video comes to the attention of the police, it will be fully investigated.

“If there is a video which reflects a parent or anybody physically beating a child or any other person, that matter could be effectively investigated and there can be a prose­cution,” he said.

He said if after the contents of any such video are viewed by investigators, it is found the evidence is not “very clear and overwhelming”, guidance can be sought from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution to determine if any charges should be laid.