Home / View Point / Letters to the Editor / LATT demands ‘thorough, independent criminal investigation’ into deaths of TTPS’ suspects

LATT demands ‘thorough, independent criminal investigation’ into deaths of TTPS’ suspects

“[…] These reports put into question the accuracy of the explanation given by the police for Mr Morris’ death in police custody, that he fell off a chair, and give rise to the obvious need for the institution of a prompt, thorough and independent criminal investigation into the possible homicide of Mr Morris…”

The following press statement from the Law Association of Trinidad and Tobago (LATT) calls for a prompt, thorough independent investigation’ into the deaths of Andrew Morris and Joel Balcon, who died while in police custody as suspects in the death of Andrea Bharatt:

Photo: Andrew ‘Solo’ Morris died on 1 February 2021, shortly after being arrested by the TTPS.
The TTPS did not announce his death until 3 February.

A Sunday Express report points to the existence of a video recording of the initial arrest of Andrew Morris. It describes the brutal interrogation of Mr Morris by heavily armed members of SORT who kicked him over his head and body while he lay on the ground, with one officer striking him on his back with a flat object.

An autopsy report prepared by Professor Hubert Daisley, the Express also reported, records that ‘there were multiple injuries of blunt force trauma covering most of the anterior chest wall, the abdomen and posterior chest/back, both upper limbs and lower limbs’.

Professor Daisley is said to have concluded that Mr Morris died ‘from severe blunt force trauma to his chest, abdomen, limbs and skull’, and that the injuries sustained to his skull were fatal.

These reports put into question the accuracy of the explanation given by the police for Mr Morris’ death in police custody, that he fell off a chair, and give rise to the obvious need for the institution of a prompt, thorough and independent criminal investigation into the possible homicide of Mr Morris.

These reports also give rise to concern over the circumstances in which Joel Balcon met his death in police custody.

Photo: Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith.

The Association has noted the involvement of foreign police personnel in the recently concluded investigation into the DSS fiasco. Seeking outside help in those circumstances was no doubt appropriate given the alleged involvement of police officers in the scheme.

The circumstances surrounding the death of Mr Morris also call for outside, regional assistance in order that any concerns of a cover up may be avoided.

The Association calls upon the Minister of National Security and the Director of Public Prosecutions to do all within the remit of their respective offices to ensure that a thorough and independent investigation is promptly carried out into the deaths of Mr Morris and Mr Balcon.

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