An 86 per cent rise in police killings in Trinidad has sparked concern by the Police Complaints Authority (PCA), according to a Trinidad Guardian report.
This 86 per cent rise in the current period comes off a 60% rise in 2018 -2019, according to a Guardian media analysis. This year, 43 people have already been killed by the police.
The director of the PCA David West had indicated that a standing policy has been in place since his administration that every fatal and non-fatal police shooting be investigated.
West has said that officers should, as much as is possible, use the minimum amount of force needed to respond to a situation.
“In the event that they must resort to force, only the minimum force necessary to achieve the required objective ought to be employed. This is why the PCA has been advocating for the use of tasers as a means of a non-lethal weapon. Additionally, this is why the PCA promotes the use of body-worn cameras (BWCs) and vehicle dash cameras,” he added.
Criminologist, Randy Seepersad, has stated that recent killings may have been exacerbated by declining economic conditions. He also stated that Trinidad is still ahead compared to the rest of the Caribbean and apart from Guyana and Jamaica, is the only country with independent oversight by the PCA or similar body.
The 86 per cent rise in killings comes in the backdrop of a seeming retaliation by police for a murdered police officer on Friday with the 3 men suspected in that crime, being shot dead over the weekend.
Videos circulating via social media over the weekend seem to show one of the male suspects being shot dead by police despite having his hands in the air.
Protests over the incident have followed in Morvant, the area where the 3 men were shot with residents blocking the roads and police firing shots into the air to disperse the crowd.
The Trinidad Express has likened the killing of the 3 men and subsequent protests to the killing of George Floyd and the resulting backlash.
There have been no immediate reports of injuries due to the police action.
BELOW: videos of a blocked motorway and of police opening fire to disperse the crowd