PCA to probe police ‘excessive force’

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

A screenshot of the video recording involving two men who were pepper sprayed and arrested by police at a party on Thursday morning –

THE police’s Professional Standards Bureau (PSB) and the Police Complaints Authority (PCA) are investigating reports of excessive force after a video of officers kicking a man after an event at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain, went viral on Thursday.

Public information officer ASP Sheridon Hill told Newsday six officers, assigned to the Inter Agency Task Force (IATF), are the subject of investigations by PSB.

Director of the Police Complaints Authority (PCA) David West said the matter was also being investigated by the authority.

“The PCA has noted the contents of the video and will launch an investigation to determine whether or not there was an abuse of the police Use of Force Policy. Anyone having information related to this incident is kindly asked to contact the PCA via our email: [email protected], Facebook page, or telephone number 226-4722.”

Police said between 6.45 am and 7.30 am, two officers stopped a Morvant man, who is also a soldier, at the entrance to the Jam Naked party at the Queen’s Park Savannah.

The man, they said, was attempting to enter with his electronic ticket and while speaking to him, he allegedly became aggressive.

Police also said IATF officers were called to assist and the soldier’s friend ran towards them, kicking one of the officers.

He also allegedly spat in the face of a police officer.

A 19-second video showed police engaging two men who they initially claimed were suspects in several break-ins of parked vehicles at the event at the savannah.

The video showed the officers using pepper spray on the men. One man was pepper sprayed, kicked in the leg as he rubbed his eyes, body slammed and the kicked twice in the head while on the ground.

Another man was in a choke-hold as he scuffled with police and was eventually subdued. He was seen on the ground rubbing his eyes.

Both men were taken to the Port of Spain General Hospital where it was reported, the soldier escaped before receiving treatment.

A medical certificate was obtained for the other man and three constables. The other man was taken to the St Clair Police Station where he wasexpected to be charged with assaulting police officers and resisting arrest.

Police said the man appeared to be intoxicated.

Newsday spoke with head of the IATF Supt Oswald Subero who referred all questions to the police’s communications depart.

Several versions of the incident made their way to social media on Thursday.