Home / View Point / Letters to the Editor / TTPS probe ‘cap snatching’ incident at TTBLM protest and will consider charges

TTPS probe ‘cap snatching’ incident at TTBLM protest and will consider charges

“An investigation has been launched into an incident at the Queen’s Park Savannah last Monday in which the cap of a police officer was snatched by a civilian.

“A formal report was made by the police officer, who is attached to the Municipal Police Department…”

The following statement related to an incident during a black lives matter demonstration at the Queen’s Park Savannah on Monday 8 June, was issued by the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS):

Photo: A police officer reacts after being stripped of his cap during a black lives matter protest at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain on 8 June 2020.

An investigation has been launched into an incident at the Queen’s Park Savannah last Monday in which the cap of a police officer was snatched by a civilian.

A formal report was made by the police officer, who is attached to the Municipal Police Department. The officer, accompanied his Superintendent, met with acting Deputy Commissioner (Operations), Jayson Forde, at the Police Administration Building, Port-of-Spain on Wednesday 10 June 2020. The civilian, accompanied by his lawyer, also met with DCP Forde [yesterday].

An investigator has been appointed to conduct an inquiry to the report. Commissioner of Police, Gary Griffith, had given permission to an individual to stage a peaceful protest at the Queen’s Park Savannah last Monday. The protest catered for no more than four other persons. But hundreds of persons converged at the Savannah.

As a result, the Commissioner of Police visited the scene of the protest.

Video footage posted to social media and in the media, showed that while the police officer was taping the protest, his cap was forcibly removed from his head by a civilian who ran away from the scene. The cap was eventually retrieved and handed back to the police officer.

CoP Griffith has taken note of the comments of the civilian in the newspapers today and says that an investigation will take its course. The investigation will also determine if other offences were committed on that day.

Photo: Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith (left) poses with a protester during a black lives matter event at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain on 8 June 2020.

Editor’s Note: Ian Smart, the son of former attorney general Anthony Smart and managing director of Smart Energy Limited, accepted responsibility for the incident at the protest in a media interview and apologised.

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