Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 7th 2015 Contents Minimum wage still to be reviewed --- McLeod News --- Page A6
Tuesday, July 7, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
for 06TH JULY, 2015
JENSEN LA VENDE
The Judiciary says it is baffled that police
officers yesterday refused to adhere to an
old court rule and chose instead not to enter
the Arima Magistrates Court because they
were not allowed to take their service
In a media release yesterday, it said the
practice was not new and was implemented
in accordance with international best practice
However, officers who had matters at the
court yesterday queried the procedure and
eventually refused to enter the court after
they were told they would have to be subjected
to scans and could not go in with their
weapons. This, the T&T Guardian under-
stands, led to confrontations between the
officers involved and the court security at
In response to that, the Judiciary released
a statement saying it could not understand
the response, since the existing Judiciary
policy, which is implemented at all court
locations, prohibits officers who are not on
a specific duty from entering court premises
with a gun.
It stated: "It has for several years been the
practice that persons entering court buildings,
including members of staff, are scanned in
an effort to limit the entry of dangerous
weapons and thereby ensure the protection
of all court users.
"The Judiciary is unaware of any concerns
regarding this practice that have previously
been voiced by members of the Police Service.
"The exclusion of firearms from court
buildings is a position arrived at by the Judi-
ciary after examination of international court
practice and mature consideration of statistics.
These statistics reveal that the majority of
shootings within court buildings and court-
rooms occur with firearms wrested by per-
petrators from the control of police officers."
After word of the situation spread, vice-
president of the Police Service Social and
Welfare Association, Insp Roger Alexander,
arrived at the courthouse to see if he could
According to sources within the court-
house, some officers, in an attempt to enter
the facility with their weapons yesterday,
refused to be scanned by security before
Deputy Commissioner (Crime) Glenn
Hackett spoke with senior judicial staff mem-
bers at the courthouse but the situation
remained the same and some officers refused
to enter the building without their weapons
for the entire day, cheered on by colleagues
gathered outside the courthouse.
Police sources said yesterday s situation
developed after a senior magistrate gave
instructions that armed police officers should
not be allowed into the courthouse.
But other police sources claimed a memo
had been circulated at the Arima Police Station
informing officers not to enter the courthouse
with their service weapons so they were con-
fused about yesterday s confrontation.
JENSEN LA VENDE
Kevon George was
warned by his family to
move out of his Chafford
apartment for- his own
safety in the face of con-
tinuing gang violence
but he had initially
But on Sunday when
the place he had called
home for close to a year
finally became too hostile
he packed up most of his belongings to move out.
However, before he could accomplish that gunmen
pounced on him and killed him.
According to police reports, around 11.30 pm
Chafford Court residents called the police after
hearing gunshots. Members of the Port-of-Spain
Task Force responded and found George s body
behind Building B.
Speaking with the media outside the Forensic
Science Centre, St James, yesterday, George s father,
Don, said his son had moved to the area after
returning from Canada about nine months ago.
He added that constant pleas by family for him
to move out were unheeded as the 29-year-old
claimed he was "cool" and "not in anything."
However, the grieving father said on Sunday
evening things changed and his son decided it was
time to leave.
"All I know was that he was leaving Chafford
Court when it happen. He s originally from Diego
Martin, then he went away and when he come
back he was there with a cousin. He was the eldest
of three children," his sister Kim Lewis said.
She added: "Well whatever incident took place
last week with somebody I don t know, really I
can t tell you because I was not there. All I know
was he was leaving to move out after something
happened last week.
"He had packed up to leave and we don t know
like they find out he leaving and they decide to
deal with it. Because it have gang thing going on
in there and we used to ask him about it all the
time and he used to tell me, Kim, no I not involved
but after last week I don t know what he heard or
saw but he wanted to leave."
Other relatives told the T&T Guardian that George
received a text message the night before he was
killed telling him to either choose a side in the war
or leave the area. George decided to leave and was
awaiting transportation to take him to a relative s
home in east Trinidad when he was shot in the
neck and face. (See Page A6).
Man slain for not
choosing gang life
Judiciary enforces old law...
Gun ban on cops in court Kevon George
Vice-president of the Police Social and Welfare Association Inspector Roger Alexander
speaks with other officers after they were barred from entering the Arima Magistrates
Court when they refused to be searched by security officers at the court, Prince Street,
Arima, yesterday. PHOTO: ABRAHAM DIAZ
The Judiciary's release said the policy was
first implemented several years ago "and we
are thus, surprised at recent concerns raised
at the Arima Court."
The release said the Chief Justice had
written to the acting Commissioner of Police
Stephen Williams recently, seeking his
assistance in reminding officers of the
Judiciary's policy and "no concerns regarding
the policy were previously raised either by the
commissioner or his officers." It also added
the matter had never been queried before
and officers would in the past make
arrangements for their weapons when
entering the courts.
Contacted last night, however, Williams
said he had given a directive on the matter to
the Northern Division head in the wake of
"The officers have objected to it and I have
since given directives to the Divisional
Commander of the Northern Division that no
officer under his command is to be subjected
to any search to be conducted by any of the
security officers at the Arima Court," he
added. He said he did receive a letter from the
Judiciary on Friday but it was brought to his
intention yesterday. As such, he said he would
be having discussions on the matter and
would make a statement thereafter.
In a telephone interview with i95 FM
yesterday, head of the Police Social and
Welfare Association, Insp Anand Ramesar,
said the decision was a case of "the tail
attempting to wag the dog."
Ramesar said Section 8 of the Firearms
Act allowed his membership to be armed
while in the courthouse, adding that the law
trumped all policies and there was also an
issue with the safety of his members.
He reminded the public that it was swift
action by armed police officers at the
courthouse that resulted in the apprehension
of a murder accused following a killing
outside the courthouse last year.
He said his members were not in favour of
the policy, adding that he was due to meet
with Williams on the issue.
LAW ALLOWS IT---RAMESAR
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