‘Police at war’
By NEWSDAY REPORTER Monday, June 23 2014
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AT WAR: Insp Roger Alexander....
AN ANGRY Inspector Roger Alexander yesterday declared the police are at war with the criminal elements, saying officers are ready to meet criminals head on with deadly force, if this is required.
Alexander who is also the vice-president of the Police Social and Welfare Association (PSWA) was responding, during an interview with radio station i95FM, to what he considered as direct threats made to the lives of officers involved in an incident on the weekend in which Keshorn Daniel was killed by police.
In its midday news broadcast yesterday, i95 FM played a recording of a man who was said to be a relative of Daniel, who told reporters on the day of the shooting: “You see how they (the police) treat my brother, they have to feel it! They have families too and while they have to sign in for their guns, we don’t!”
Alexander, who is also a co-host of the TV6 crime show Beyond the Tape, told i95FM the police are at war with the criminals.
“Let us go to war! We have no choice but to go to war! I have been saying this all the time...eventually we will have to confront these persons. We are at war,” Alexander said in the i95 FM news report yesterday.
“That what was said...that is a direct threat against the police and anytime we are confronted, we will retaliate!
We are at war and we will retaliate and wait for the consequences when they come,” Alexander said as he spoke on the statement made by the man said to be a relative of Daniel.
Daniel, 19, of Desperlie Crescent, Laventille, was shot dead by officers of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) at about 12.35 am on Saturday. It was reported that the IATF officers were on surveillance patrol when a man opened gunfire on them.
The officers returned fire shooting Daniel several times. He died minutes after being rushed to the Port-of-Spain General Hospital by IATF officers. Police seized a .40 calibre pistol at the scene of the shootout. Such a calibre, sources said, is capable of piercing bullet-proof vests.
It was reported that a soldier who was part of the IATF patrol was shot twice during the exchange of gunfire which cost Daniel his life. Up to yesterday, the condition of that soldier was not known.
Residents later staged a fiery protest in the wake of Daniel’s shooting.
“We the police have in the past offered an olive branch and extended our hearts to the people but they are paying us no mind.
“They prefer to shoot the police. They injure and maim the police and when officers fire back, they protest and burn rubbish on the road and seek assistance from those who seek political office,” Alexander said.
He also called on those persons who criticise the police’s action to go and live in these crime hot-spots. Alexander also called on police officers to use their cellular phones to record by way of video or photographic images, suspects held with firearms.
“When they (suspects) are shot, use your cellphones...not to take selfies but to take pictures of them with their guns.
“Let the EHS collect them,” Alexander said. “Don’t let them say the police are bringing the guns (to plant on shot suspects). Don’t let them say that anymore. Take the photos and let the public see the guns,” Alexander said.