Thursday, January 18, 2018

MSJ wants independent probe of police killings

THE Movement for Social Justice (MSJ) is calling for thorough investigations regarding all police killings for the year so far.

This call comes after the death of Chaquille McCoy, 21, who was shot and killed on Thursday morning by North Eastern Division police in Morvant.

MSJs public relations officer, Gregory Fernandez said Friday: “It is important that the public be informed of the status of the ongoing investigations as the current climate demands that the public have the utmost confidence in the PCA (Police Complaints Authority) to carry out its functions fearlessly.”

To date there have been 24 police killings for the year. In 2013, twenty two persons were killed by police officers.

According to Trinidad and Tobago 2013 Human Rights Report, “The most serious human rights problems were police killings during apprehension or while in custody and poor treatment of suspects, detainees, and prisoners.”

The MSJ is calling for acting Police Commissioner Stephen Williams to deal with police officers “operating as jury and executioner”.

“If an unarmed person is running from a police officer is the officer entitled to shoot at or to kill such persons? Is the training for police officers adequate?” Fernandez asked.

He said: “We insist that the use of unnecessary force and the shooting of suspects is not a substitute for good, intelligence driven, investigative police work supported by a policy of community policing,” Fernandez said.