Garcia intervenes, and interrupts

The Po­lice Com­plaints Au­thor­i­ty (PCA) is con­cerned about the num­ber of fa­tal po­lice shoot­ings that have al­ready tak­en place for the year. With Po­lice Com­mis­sion­er Gary Grif­fith promis­ing to go even hard­er against crim­i­nals, the agency is prepar­ing to ramp up its in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

Fol­low­ing a shootout in Port-of-Spain on De­cem­ber 31 which left one woman dead and ten oth­ers in­jured, Grif­fith had said: “So Mr David West (head of the PCA), if he could claim over­time, he will make a lot of mon­ey next year be­cause we are go­ing hard and fast on these crim­i­nals.”

West gave the as­sur­ance yes­ter­day that the PCA is ready.

“If it is that the Com­mis­sion­er of Po­lice is giv­ing me ex­tra work, I hope he has ex­tra men be­cause if the po­lice of­fi­cers are charged they should be sus­pend­ed pend­ing the out­come of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion,” he said.

Just eight days in­to 2020 there have al­ready been six fa­tal po­lice in­volved shoot­ings.

Ac­cord­ing to West, this is more than the amount record­ed for the same pe­ri­od last year.

He said: “Com­pared to last year, the first po­lice in­volved shoot­ing didn’t take place un­til the 19th of Jan­u­ary and there were on­ly three po­lice in­volved shoot­ings for the month.”

West stat­ed the PCA con­duct­ed 638 in­ves­ti­ga­tions last year of which 459 cas­es were closed with no fur­ther ac­tion, three files were sent to the Of­fice of Di­rec­tor of Pub­lic Pros­e­cu­tions, 32 to the Com­mis­sion­er of Po­lice and 19 for­ward­ed to both the DPP and the Com­mis­sion­er.

Asked whether the au­thor­i­ty is able to han­dle a big­ger work­load this year, he said: “We have a sat­is­fac­to­ry com­ple­ment of in­ves­ti­ga­tors and at­tor­neys and we will, of course, have bud­getary re­quire­ments to per­mit any in­crease in our staff.”

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