Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 16th 2013 Contents A5
Friday, August 16, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar yes-
terday announced that a police/army post
would be set up at Duncan Street, Port-of-
Spain, within the next 24 to 48 hours, as the
effort to curb the recent spate of murders there
The PM said so on the compound of Building
64, where slain teen Niam Antoine had been
evicted from his Housing Development Corpo-
ration apartment by gunmen, who had since
been occupying it. That was where the post
was to be set up, she said.
Antoine and his 16-year-old cousin Rasheeda
Gomez were shot dead on Wednesday.
Persad-Bissessar wiped tears from her eyes
as a weeping Natasha Rogers, mother of Antoine,
told her of her son s life of pain.
The apartment was open and empty when
the PM, accompanied by Housing Minister Dr
Roodal Moonilal, Housing Development Cor-
poration CEO Jearlean John, National Security
Minister Emmanuel George, Legal Affairs Minister
Prakash Ramadhar, Arima MP Roger Samuel,
Minister of Arts and Multiculturalism Winston
"Gypsy" Peters, acting Commissioner of Police
Stephen Williams and Deputy Commissioner of
Police Mervyn Richardson visited it.
"The proposal is to use this building to put
an army and police post right here in the heart
of Duncan Street where other exercises and ini-
tiatives will be undertaken by the commissioner
with their joint forces. I think their presence
here will be very important," Persad-Bissessar
She said other initiatives would include law
enforcement officers on the ground, stop-and-
search exercises, police visibility and greater
mobile and aerial surveillance.
Commenting on the spike in crime in the
area within recent weeks, she said there was
"We really mourn with the people of Dun-
can Street and the surrounding area," she added.
The PM said serious crime, according to police
statistics, had decreased by 13 per cent "but
homicides continue to haunt us."
Responding to questions, the PM said a limited
state of emergency was recommended by law
enforcement officers who were of the view they
could contain the spike in crime in the area with
She said increased police presence on Dun-
can Street had already started and would con-
tinue in the days and weeks to come as long
as it was necessary. She said the Government
also discussed the implementation of the anti-
She added: "As we speak, I am being advised
by the commissioner and the DCP that they
are in discussions with the Director of Public
Prosecutions (DPP) concerning the implemen-
tation of the anti-gang law.
"I have been advised that persons have been
picked up on that law but the files have to go
to the DPP and they are waiting on word from
him as to whether they can continue to hold
them in custody."
The PM said if someone was held under the
law, they would be kept out of the public domain
for four months, within which time a case could
She said the police had been seeking to make
full use of the law to protect citizens.
The implementation of the death penalty also
would be looked at during the new session of
Parliament, the PM said.
"I think that could be a deterrent, as well,
for homicide," she added.
Persad-Bissessar said residents yesterday
asked her for a learning centre for their children
and the Government would consider setting it
up in the same building where the police post
would be because it could help to curb crime.
During the PM s visit yesterday, heavily-armed
officers blocked off the area on Duncan Street
where her entourage was while a national secu-
rity helicopter hovered overhead and contingents
of armed police and Defence Force officers stood
at strategic points.
The street was virtually empty before the PM
arrived but when she came it came alive as peo-
ple appeared from behind closed apartments
and converged near her.
"Look Kamla boy," a man said.
Save for a lone woman who protested loudly
after the PM left, Persad-Bissessar was welcomed
by residents, who even showed her a framed
photograph taken with her and a child in the
area, Nakidelle Morgan, to "show her how much
we love her."
Persad-Bissessar later said residents did not
tell her so but she felt they were pleased to note
the increased police presence in the area.
A 29-year-old Morvant construc-
tion worker was the sixth person
to be shot dead in east Port-of-
Spain on Wednesday.
Friends and relatives of Samuel
Brewster said they were waiting on
him to return home from a shopping
trip in Port-of-Spain when they
received a call saying he had been
found murdered at Mango Alley,
Trou Macaque, Laventille.
Brewster lived a short distance
away at Halls Lane, Pelican Exten-
In an interview at the Forensic
Science Centre, St James, yesterday,
Brewster s aunt said their family was
left confused over his murder.
"He wasn t in anything. He doh
meddle with anybody," she said.
She denied he was involved in
gang activity, saying: "All he used to
do is work and take a little drink
(alcohol) on evenings."
The woman said she did not
understand why he was killed in
Mango Alley as he would never stop
in that community on his way home.
"I want to know how he end up
there and which driver take him there
to get kill?" she asked.
According to police reports, shortly
after 10 pm, residents of Mango Alley
reported hearing gunshots. When
they checked they found Brewster
lying in the middle of the road with
several gunshot wounds to his chest.
He died on the scene.
Homicide detectives have not
established a motive for his murder
up to late yesterday.
Meanwhile, Akin Perry was iden-
tified as the victim who was shot
dead at Blondell Alley, East Dry River,
Port-of-Spain, around 6.30 pm on
Thursday. Perry, 28, lived at Gloster
Lodge Road, Gonzales.
Police said Perry was liming in
front of a shop at East Dry River
when he was approached by two
gunmen who shot him several times.
He was rushed to Port-of-Spain
General Hospital but died while
undergoing emergency surgery.
The other victims of Wednesday s
gang violence were:
• Niam Antoine, 16, of Piccadilly
• Antoine s 16-year-old cousin
Rasheeda Gomez, also of Duncan
• Sean Lewis Jr, 17, of Trou
Macaque Road, Laventille; and
• Christopher Peters, 27, of Sea
Police said no one had been arrest-
ed in connection with the murder
spree up to late yesterday but officers
did round up several people during
anti-crime exercises yesterday. These
exercises are expected to continue
over the next couple days.
When a news team from the T&T
Guardian drove around east Port-
of-Spain yesterday, uniformed offi-
cers were seen patrolling the streets
on foot while their colleagues, in
marked police vehicles, were circling
the communities at five-minute
Acting Commissioner of Police
Stephen Williams says after the
escalation of crime in the Duncan
Street, Port-of-Spain, area over
the last few weeks, the police have
revisited all they were doing and
will now implement key measures
to ensure there are no similar out-
bursts of violence in the commu-
Heightened police presence is one
measure and Williams said it was
necessary to prevent the crime
before it happened.
He said so yesterday at Duncan
Street, Port-of-Spain, after he vis-
ited the beleaguered community
with Prime Minister Kamla Persad-
Bissessar and an entourage of Gov-
ernment MPs and national security
personnel in the wake of six murders
in the area on Wednesday.
Williams said the question of why
Duncan Street had been experienc-
ing such an exceptional level of vio-
lence over the last four years needed
to be looked at in a broader social
"It s not just the policing aspect
of it. We need to look at crime in
a broader context of social issues.
Policing is one aspect. It goes beyond
that," he added.
Williams said 138 homicides in
four years in an area of a 200-metre
radius in the Nelson, Duncan and
St Paul Streets area were phenom-
He said the police had some infor-
mation as to the causes of the recent
spike in crime in the area and it
involved issues between gangs.
"It is a straight case of gang-gen-
erated violence in the Duncan Street
area," he said.
Also commenting on the situa-
tion yesterday was Natasha Rogers,
mother of 16-year old Niam
Antoine, who was killed by gunmen
on Duncan Street on Wednesday.
Saying her life may be in danger
as well, she said she cried when she
told Prime Minister Kamla Persad-
Bissessar her son was born in pain
and lived in pain. The PM, she said,
cried with her.
"He was (treated) like a dog on
the street, like rubbish you kick
aside." Rogers said her faith in God
was sustaining her.
Joint unit to protect Duncan Street residents
Kamla sheds tears
for murder victims
Community sees 138 murders in four years
East PoS killing
spree claims six
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, left, sheds a tear as she chats with Natasha Rogers, right,
and her daughter, Narisha, at Duncan Street, Port-of-Spain, yesterday. Rogers' son, Niam Antoine,
was killed on Wednesday. At centre is Rodger Samuel, Arima MP. PHOTO: ANDY HYPOLITE
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