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for MAY 18TH, 2015
A video of three police officers beat-
ing a man in La Brea has gone viral
and acting Police Commissioner
Stephen Williams says investigations
have already started into the incident.
Uploaded to Facebook on Saturday
morning, the video shows three police
officers kicking and cuffing a bareback
man at the La Brea Recreational Ground,
Point D Or, La Brea. Viewed over 30,000
times, the video sparked a firestorm of
outrage from over 2,000 people, who
expressed disgust at the police.
In the video a police jeep is seen
speeding into the savannah. Three uni-
formed officers jump out. A bareback
man is seen running into the pavilion
where he picks up a chair and flings it
at the police.
The officers chase the man who falls
to the ground. The three officers then
take turns in kicking and cuffing him.
He was thrown to the back of the jeep
and taken away.
But in an interview, a witness said
the police used excessive force because
they were attacked by the man after
they responded to a report of distur-
The witness said residents held a foot-
ball game on Friday but the man began
"He was fighting, cursing, throwing
things and talking to himself. While the
football game was going on, someone
called the police and he started to run
when he saw the police. The police came
after him but he picked up a chair and
threw it at them," the witness said.
He said the man also allegedly picked
up a bottle and struck one of the officers
on the head. That was when the officers
started to kick and cuff him.
During the melee a few spectators
began shouting to the police to stop the
blows. "Most of them did not see when
the man attacked the officers with a
bottle," the witness said.
A soca artiste and song writer who
claims he is addicted to marijuana and
cocaine which inspires him to compose
his songs yesterday was slapped with
$12,500 in fines.
Jody Awong, 35, appeared in the San
Fernando Sixth Magistrates Court yes-
terday jointly charged with his wife,
Josephine Gobindass, 28, for possession
of marijuana and cocaine. They pleaded
The drugs were found in their home
on Sunday morning by PC Sherwin Tuitt
of the Southern Division Task Force after
he and other officers searched the couple s
home at Ben Lomond Village,
Prosecutor Sgt Gordon Maharaj said
the marijuana, which weighed 255
grammes, was found on a space saver in
the living room while the cocaine, weigh-
ing four grammes, was found on a
microwave in the kitchen. The couple
was represented by attorney Ainsley
Asking for leniency, Lucky told mag-
istrate Natalie Diop that Awong was a
prolific music producer, writer, promoter
and soca artiste and owns Awong Enter-
Claiming that illicit drugs are prolific
in the entertainment industry, Lucky said
Awong used the drugs as inspiration.
"The inspiration appears to work
because he has won prizes for his writing,"
he said, adding that his songs have earned
performers first place in the Chutney
In addition to that, Lucky said Awong
was under the erroneous assumption that
his wife was having an affair.
He said Awong was now addicted to
the drugs and wanted to attend rehabil-
itation institutions to "shake this monkey
off his back."
Awong s wife is not addicted but was
just curious, said Lucky, who asked for
bond, saying she is an aesthetician and
has two young children, ages six and
three, with Awong.
The magistrate fined Awong $5,000
or nine months in jail on the cocaine
charge and $7,500 or nine months on the
Gobindass was fined $3,000 or nine
months in jail on the cocaine charge and
$5,000 or seven months in jail on the
Defence attorneys yester-
day questioned the experi-
ence of the retired Assistant
Commissioner of Police
(ACP) who led the investiga-
tion into the murder of busi-
nesswoman Vindra Naipaul-
Coolman in the trial of 12
men accused of committing
ACP Nadhir Khan was
bombarded with questions
over his stint as a homicide
detective when he took the
witness stand before presiding
Judge Malcolm Holdip in the
Port-of-Spain High Court.
Khan testified he had been
attached to the Homicide
Bureau of Investigations for
six years and had been put in
charge of three murder inves-
tigations before he was
assigned to Naipaul-Coolman s
case on January 5, 2007.
Defence attorney Colin
Selvon questioned whether
Khan s appointment had left
him anxious, noting hours after
his new assignment the
accused men were arrested at
their homes in Upper La Puer-
ta, Diego Martin.
Selvon: "Were you then
pressured or pushed to con-
duct that exercise?"
Khan: "I was not pushed
nor was I coerced into con-
ducting that exercise."
Selvon: "We could describe
you as having little experi-
Khan: "I wouldn t say that."
Khan was then asked about
the results of tests on evidence
that was collected by crime
scene investigators during the
While he could not list the
items seized, as he said he was
not present in the exercise, he
firmly denied the accused men
were initially released because
of a lack of evidence.
"There were many reports
which I can t recall now. I can-
not sit here and say that noth-
ing of evidential value was
found," Khan said firmly.
When he was asked about
interviews with the accused
men when they were arrested
a second time before being
charged, Khan said he could
not reveal much details as he
had delegated the interviews
to his junior colleagues.
abducted from her home at
Lange Park, Chaguanas, on
December 19, 2006. A
$122,000 ransom was paid by
her family but she was not
released and her body has
never been recovered by police.
The State s main evidence
against the accused men was
primarily based on the testi-
mony of Keon Gloster, who is
related to the accused men and
was allegedly present when
Naipaul-Coolman was killed
in a small red brick house
shared by three of the accused
Gloster testified before Khan
but has claimed he was
coerced into signing the sworn
statements. He was deemed a
hostile witness by the prose-
cution. Khan s cross-exami-
nation will continue when the
trial resumes this morning.
Tuesday, May 19, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Alleged beating by
cops sparks probe
Defence tears into
and wife fined
for illegal drugs
ACTING COP: COMMITTED TO QUALITY SERVICE
In an interview yesterday, acting
Commissioner of Police Williams said
the matter was being investigated by
the Trinidad and Tobago Police
Service's (TTPS) Professional
"There has been a statement issued
and we have started investigations.
The Professional Standards Bureau,
led by ACP Harrikrishen Baldeo, is
heading the investigation," Williams
He said any officer who fell short of
the high standards of the TTPS would
be dealt with in an effective manner.
Williams said the majority of police
officers were law abiding. "We may
have just a minority of officers who
bring the Police Service into disrepute,"
WHO'S IN COURT
The 12 men before the jury and Justice Malcolm
Holdip are Allan "Scanny" Martin, twin brothers
Shervon and Devon Peters and their older brother
Anthony Dwayne Gloster, siblings Keida and Jamille
Garcia, brothers Marlon and Earl Trimmingham, Ronald
Armstrong, Antonio Charles, Joel Fraser and Lyndon
James. A 13th man, Raphael Williams, was charged
with the crime but died in prison in 2011 of
complications from sickle-cell anaemia.
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