Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 15th 2014 Contents A5
Thursday, May 15, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Give the hand-picked team of
officers assigned to investigate the
assassination of Senior Counsel
Dana Seetahal the $3.5 million
reward being offered in the case
and you are bound to get results.
The proposal was made yesterday
by secretary of the Police Second
Division Association, Insp Micheal
Seales, after a similar suggestion
by the Downtown Owners and
Merchants Association (DOMA).
DOMA made the suggestion as
it said it was tired of hearing excuses
in dealing with the crime scourge,
noting that any incentives given
could help in solving Seetahal s
killing but the overall crime problem
But Seales had a caveat: If the
team does not solve the crime it
would "be a failure on the part of
the Police Service and its leader-
"Seetahal s murder was not ordi-
nary but rather was an act to ter-
rorism and a threat to the country s
democracy," Seales said.
He added: "You have to treat the
police as professionals and we are
saying give us the $3.5 million
instead because it requires a certain
level of knowledge and technology
among other factors. It goes beyond
the scope of ordinary policing.
"The association wants this mur-
der to be solved and we have to
look at it through the eyes of the
man in the street, who have already
given the Police Service a big "F"
and if they do not solve this murder
then the Police Service deserves
the big "F."
Despite repeated assurance from
National Security Minister Gary
Griffith and acting Police Com-
missioner Stephen Williams that
the investigating officers are dili-
gently working on bringing the per-
petrator/s of the crime to justice,
there have been no arrests in See-
tahal s May 4 murder to date.
Sense of hopelessness
In a statement earlier yesterday,
DOMA said instead of only offering
incentives in response to major
crimes, they should be given to the
police perhaps on a weekly, monthly
and annual basis.
"If we were paying incentives for
service, wouldn t we be assured of
better service? And if incentives
work in one service, say national
security, couldn t we then try this
model in other sectors?" DOMA
"Why not offer the $3.5 million
reward to those police officers that
solve this crime? Why not overhaul
the management model of our
national services? Why not ask the
managerial elite to write a new rule
book for critical governance issues?"
It added that rather than finding
an answer to the crime scourge,
successive governments have con-
tinually come up short.
"What is extremely depressing,
however, are the lame, repetitive
responses from the various agencies
and authorities whose job it is to
protect our nation. What has
occurred is an unmistakable threat
to the future welfare of our coun-
"Nowhere in the various assur-
ances of action to be taken have
we heard of a single new strategy.
All of the old ideas are regurgitated
every time we face the horrors of
criminality; more guns, more vehi-
cles, more cameras and bigger cash
rewards for information.
"Buzzwords have been also used
by successive governments to give
the impression of command,
"strategic assets" or "threat assess-
ment" are two that come to mind,"
Saying that thousands of murders
have remained unsolved, DOMA
said "colossal affronts" to the coun-
try s national security, like the
exportation of cocaine in juice tins,
were left to "drift into history.
"A complete sense of hopeless-
ness is therefore eating away at our
national psyche. We have almost
lost the fight against evil and our
impotence is repeatedly highlighted
by the responses of those to whom
we look for protection," DOMA
"Our incapacity includes the elite
of the society, especially us, the
business community, whose
demands that the government
"must control crime now" and
"crime will deter investors" is lack-
ing in civic responsibility to the
point of naked selfishness."
Cops not bounty
National Security Minister Gary
Griffith said yesterday he would
not support the initiative proposed
by DOMA, saying the police must
do what they are being paid to do.
In the same breath, Griffith
recognised the fact that there were
many officers who went above and
beyond the call of duty and in such
instances they would be properly
recognised for their efforts.
He added: "Let me make it clear
that what I would not support tak-
ing Crime Stoppers reward and
giving it to the police to solve this
murder because if you do this then
what happens next? This could
have a serious domino effect...
police officers must never be turned
into bounty hunters.
"I personally do not think we
should reward police officers for
doing their job, which is still in the
investigative stage. I would expect
them to be professional enough to
do their job."
Saying he understood the con-
cept behind DOMA s proposal,
however, Griffith said when the
issue of renumeration was raised
by visiting United States policing
expert William Joseph "Bill" Bratton
in November last year, it was heavily
criticised by different sectors.
"When Mr Bratton said this we
were attacked. It showed I knew
what I was speaking about all along.
If you offer proper remuneration
to police officers, the concept of
increasing remuneration will play
a very big part in reducing the pos-
sibility of murders.
"It is very important we do
recognise the hard work of police
officers. We definitely have to put
in place better remuneration incen-
tives," Griffith said.
But he expressed confidence that
Seetahal s murder would be solved
as the investigators were "on top
of their game."
"I stand very firmly behind the
investigators and I have every con-
fidence they will crack this case.
From day one they have been work-
ing, looking at footage from CCTV
cameras and examining other fac-
"It is very difficult for police to
deal with detection of homicides
based on the lack of human intel-
ligence and we appeal to people to
come forward, whether it be for
love of country or for money," Grif-
Contacted last evening for com-
ment on DOMA and Seales s call
for the reward to be offered to the
investigators, Acting Commissioner
of Police Stephen Williams said:
"Anybody could support whatever
statement they wish but I have no
comment to make on that matter."
There was a massive traffic pile up
in Diego Martin after residents of
Bagatelle blocked major roads in their
community with burning debris yes-
terday morning after police shot and
killed a 35-year-old man.
Police said around 10 am about a
dozen residents, carrying tyres and
pieces of metal and wood, gathered
along Bagatelle Road, Diego Martin,
to protest the death of Nigel Long,
who was shot dead by police on Tues-
Police and fire officers were sum-
moned to the scene after the residents
completely blocked the roadway and
ignited the debris.
After repeatedly pleading with the
residents to desist, the officers began
extinguishing the fire and removing
The residents only dispersed after
police public information officer Insp
Wayne Mystar arrived on the scene
and spoke to them. He assured them
of a independent and fair investigation
into Long s death.
According to police reports, around
11.30 pm, two police officers and two
soldiers were on a joint patrol along
Mahogany Trace, Bagatelle, when they
reportedly spotted Long standing at
the side of the road.
Police claimed that upon seeing the
police vehicle Long got up, reached
behind his back, drew a revolver and
pointed it at the officers.
The officers drew their guns and
shot Long several times. He was taken
to the St James District Hospital where
he was pronounced dead on arrival.
They reportedly recovered a loaded
.38 revolver from the dead man.
Long s relatives and friends disputed
the officers version.
"He didn t do anything to anyone,"
Lima Alexander, his relative who lived
near to where he was shot said in an
interview with reporters at the Forensic
Science Centre, St James, yesterday.
Alexander said a couple hours before
the shooting, Long came to her home
to visit her.
"He took a shower, ate something
and said he was going outside to lime,"
She said shortly after she heard a
volley of gunshots and when she went
outside she saw police officers loading
an unconscious Long in the back of
While waiting at the centre for a
post-mortem to be performed on
Long s body, Alexander said she and
other relatives were planning to make
an official report to the Police Com-
plaints Authority (PCA) but were wait-
ing until they received his autopsy
Although relatives were seen waiting
at the centre before it had opened at
9 am, they left empty-handed after
staff told them to return today because
they were unable to do the procedure
because of a large backlog of cases at
the centre yesterday.
Alexander said residents would con-
tinue their protests until they were
satisfied that a "proper" police inves-
tigation was being conducted.
"An innocent man get killed. We
not allowing this to go down so,"
Meanwhile, a post-mortem on
another man shot dead by police
revealed that he was shot three time
to the chest.
Antonio Swan, 21, who was wanted
in connection with the recent murder
of a man in Biche, was shot dead near
his Concerned Citizens Street, Cali-
fornia, on Tuesday evening.
In an telephone interview yesterday
forensic pathologist Dr Valery Alexan-
drov, who performed the autopsy, said
Swan had been shot three times in his
A male relative, who was at the cen-
tre to identify Swan s body, only
described him as a "stubborn child"
who kept bad company.
DOMA on Seetahal's murder probe:
the reward Diego residents
protest police killing
A police officer speaks to protesting residents of Bagatelle, Diego Martin,
during their protest over the shooting of Nigel Long in their area yesterday.
PHOTO: COURTESY CNC 3
Nigel Long ...killed by police
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