Eight cops remain in custody as homicide probe advances


In this file photo, relatives of the three men killed by police in 2020 remember them duing the second memorial on June 27, at Juman Drive, Second Caledonia, Morvant at the spot they were shot dead. – SUREASH CHOLAI

Eight police officers arrested in connection with the homicide investigation relating to the killing of three men in Second Caledonia, Morvant two years ago remained in police custody last night.

Investigators said they have started the process to interview seven of them on Saturday and will continue on Sunday before they consult Director of Public Prosecutions Roger Gaspard SC on whether any charges can be supported on the evidence.

A sergeant and six constables are accused of firing their weapons on June 27, 2020 where Joel Jacob, 36, Noel Diamond, 46 and Israel Moses Clinton, 27, were instantly killed near the Auto Guru building, Juman Drive.

The officers, seven of whom are assigned to the Inter-Agency Task Force, were among a team of 18 officers on patrol when they intercepted a gold-coloured Nissan Tiida. The officers, travelling in four jeeps, surrounded the car and ordered Jacob out.

CCTV footage showed Jacob with his both hands held over his head in the air and Clinton with his hands over the steering wheel when they were shot.

Police claimed Jacob retrieved a gun from the car and pointed it at them causing them to fire.

The other ten officers, who are assigned to the Guard and Emergency Branch, are under a wider investigation. One of the eight officers has agreed to co-operate with the police and testify against his colleagues.

He only returned to the country after leaving on a one-way ticket to the United States. A previous attempt to arrest the officers had to be called off after investigators learned about the officer’s departure, reliable sources said.

The arrest of the eight is being seen as a major breakthrough in the two-year investigation led by Supt Wayne Abbott and a hand-picked team of professionals from various units in the police service, including the cybercrime unit.

Ulric Skerritt, one of the lawyers representing six of the detained officers, claims the arrest of his clients was to bow to public pressure over police killings.

On July 2, police shot and killed three young men on Independence Square, Port of Spain and another in Second Caledonia, Morvant. Both incidents sparked protest by residents where streets were blocked off with burning debris and demands for a thorough investigation by the Police Complaints Authority.

Newly-appointed manager of the corporate communication unit Joanne Archie, who recently retired as an assistant commissioner of police, said on Saturday there was no update in the matter relating to the eight officers detained in the Morvant case and did not say if the police had kept its deadline to submit its file relating to the Independence Square shooting to the DPP on Friday.

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