Las Cuevas residents traumatised by police raid

Residents of Las Cuevas say they have no problem with the police doing their job but say they are disappointed with the manner it was done.

The residents claim the officers kicked-in doors and did not identify themselves, causing law-abiding residents to think they were in danger.  

A collaborative exercise involving personnel from the Police, Defence Force and Coast Guard occurred in the area just after 2 am Thursday. 

Residents say the exercise lasted several hours and several men were taken by police. 

"All I want to know is where my 15-year-old son," one resident said.

She told Guardian Media that she called several police stations and no one was able to tell her where her son was being held. 

"Plenty people can't sleep in the village because of what happened three weeks ago and now this," another resident said. 

On July 25, Vaughn 'Sandman' Mieres, his wife and two others were killed at Mieres' Las Cuevas home.

Residents say the way the police acted this morning reminded them of that day.

"They never identify themselves," one resident shouted. 

The residents took Guardian Media's journalists for a walk through the town on the way they showed us several broken doors and displaced furniture in some houses. 

"They're saying is a community search but they knew who they came for, only people who related to Sandman get search," a resident said. 

They told us people in the area are afraid to leave as they are getting threats. 

"They say if they can't get the men they will kill the women," one woman told us.

Another woman said she's afraid to go to Port-of-Spain to buy school books for her children. 

As for their relationship with Vaughn 'Sandman' Mieres, the residents said that even though he was described a gangster he stood up for his community.

The residents reiterated that they are not against the police doing their jobs however they are still recovering from what happened three weeks ago and said the officers should have known better. 

 - by Carisa Lee

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