Slapped man to take court action on cop
By AZARD ALI Thursday, September 6 2012
ATTORNEY Cedric Neptune who represents Terrence Augustine, the man recorded in a video being slapped by a police officer, said yesterday his client intends to file cross-charges against the cop.
Neptune told Newsday, Augustine was expected to attend the San Fernando Magistrates’ Court yesterday to file the private charges against the police officer.
Augustine, 43, of St Margaret’s Village, Claxton Bay, appeared before Acting Deputy Chief Magistrate Rajendra Rambachan on Monday, charged with assaulting Police Constable Richard Kishore to cause him actual bodily harm at St Margaret’s Junction. The incident is alleged to have taken place on Independence Day, last Friday.
He was also charged with resisting Kishore in the execution of his duties, and using insulting language with intent to provoke people to breach the peace.
The charges arose from an incident during which Augustine was slapped in the face. A plainclothes officer then raised his T-shirt and displayed his firearm which was stuck in his waist. The incident was captured on video by an onlooker, and it has gone viral on social network sites. It was also featured on television news reports on Monday.
Augustine, who is on $20,000 bail, is to reappear on October 9, in the court for the hearing of the charges.
Yesterday, Neptune told Newsday Augustine was expected to file private charges with the court’s Justice of the Peace against a policeman for assault. He said his client would not make any public statement on the incident having regard to the charges before Rambachan. “I don’t know if the cross-charges have been laid as yet, but Mr Augustine was expected to do so yesterday, in the San Fernando Magistrates’ Court,” said Neptune, a former police inspector.
Acting Police Commissioner, Stephen Williams, yesterday said the matter was being probed as a high priority by the Professional Standards Unit of the Police Service.
Williams, speaking at a media briefing, at Police Administration Building, Port-of-Spain, said if out of the investigation there was a need to, a recommendation would be made to suspend the officer.
The top cop described the officer’s action as unprofessional, and said such behaviour took away from the hard work of other officers.
“On behalf of the organisation I would like to state that there can be no justification for such reprehensible conduct of any police officer. The TTPS would never support an officer behaving in such an unacceptable manner,” he said.
The matter is also being investigated by the Police Complaints Authority.