Cops hurt in police station fracas

Monday, April 15, 2019 - 09:00

Two days af­ter Cab­i­net ap­proved an amnesty for Venezue­lan na­tion­als flee­ing their coun­try's so­cio-eco­nom­ic and po­lit­i­cal tur­moil, Freeport po­lice of­fi­cers were at­tacked by a group of mi­grants.

Ac­cord­ing to a re­port, two of­fi­cers were on mo­bile pa­trols along Uquire Road, when around 1 am, they saw two men, one a Venezue­lan na­tion­al, walk­ing along the road. The of­fi­cers were ques­tion­ing the men when three Venezue­lan women ran out of a near­by house and to­geth­er with the men, start­ed fight­ing with the of­fi­cers.

One of the women grabbed an of­fi­cer's hol­stered gun, caus­ing a shot to be fired. How­ev­er, no one was in­jured. The of­fi­cers, who tried to de­fend them­selves with­out us­ing their firearms, were out­num­bered and re­treat­ed af­ter the group start­ed throw­ing stones.

They ra­dioed for re­in­force­ments and were able to ar­rest the two men and take them to the Freeport Po­lice Sta­tion. Min­utes lat­er, the women showed up at the po­lice sta­tion. The women start­ed the fight the of­fi­cers and dur­ing the melee, a fe­male of­fi­cer suf­fered a frac­tured arm while a male col­league was cut on his face head and hand, po­lice said. Oth­er of­fi­cers were able to re­strain the women and ar­rest them.

The in­jured of­fi­cers were tak­en to the Ch­agua­nas Dis­trict Health Fa­cil­i­ty where they were treat­ed and dis­charged.

The sus­pects, whose ages range be­tween 30 and 40, are ex­pect­ed to be charged with as­sault­ing po­lice of­fi­cers, ob­struct­ing the po­lice in the ex­e­cu­tion of their du­ties, throw­ing mis­siles, dis­or­der­ly be­hav­iour and re­sist­ing ar­rest.

On Thurs­day, Gov­ern­ment an­nounced a two-week reg­is­tra­tion process for Venezue­lans liv­ing in T&T at a cost of $5 mil­lion.

The reg­is­tra­tion of all il­le­gal and le­gal Venezue­lans liv­ing in T&T is ex­pect­ed to be­gin on May 31 and end on June 14. Na­tion­al Se­cu­ri­ty Min­is­ter Stu­art Young said that the process will help the gov­ern­ment to de­ter­mine how many Venezue­lan im­mi­grants are re­sid­ing in T&T.

Com­mis­sion­er of Po­lice Gary Grif­fith has said that the amnesty pos­es a clear and present dan­ger of im­mi­grants com­ing to T&T and join­ing forces with lo­cal crim­i­nals. Just last week, two Venezue­lans who killed in a shootout with po­lice.

Grif­fith said the amnesty will se­ri­ous­ly hurt the Po­lice Ser­vice in try­ing to main­tain law and or­der. He wants those who are grant­ed amnesty, if they are caught en­gag­ing in crim­i­nal ac­tiv­i­ty, to be de­port­ed im­me­di­ate­ly.

- by Kevon Felmine