Tag Archives: Crime in T&T

Total disrespect

By Raffique Shah
September 22, 2020

Raffique ShahI do not believe that the Commissioner of Police, Captain Gary Griffith, is a foolish man. He may be egotistic, over-sensitive, loquacious, combative. But foolish? No. I make this assessment of him purely by watching him from a distance, listening to his pronouncements on people from every strata of the society whom he perceives as being his critics.

Indeed, I write this column knowing that he will brand me a notorious mutineer, a disgrace to the uniform I once wore and blah, blah, blah. I am not as sensitive as he is, so I simply shrug off such epithets as par for this columnist’s course, a reality I have lived with for many years.
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Brute Force, Blame and Bigotry: Police Killings in Morvant

By A. Hotep
July 05, 2020

lettersSome people in this country are intent on shifting the dialogue away from the questionable and seemingly extrajudicial killing of three men by the police in Morvant, which was captured on CCTV footage, to centering discussions on the conduct of black youths in deprived communities. The obfuscation of the issue, evident in the commentaries by leaders, and echoed by radio and online commentators, perpetuates the view that when black people in poor communities are killed and otherwise abused, it is they who are at fault. Another twist to the narrative by the police and by the government is the claim that protests against the killings are part of an organised plot to destabilise the country. This perspective serves the agenda of those who have orchestrated and/or sanctioned the use of strong-arm tactics to stifle the protests. Meanwhile, the real issues of community neglect, crime (including white colour crime) and the heavy-handed approach of the police in these mostly black communities are pushed aside.
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Protests and State Violence: Leaders Must Stop Dodging Responsibility

By Dr Tye Salandy
July 02, 2020

Dr Tye SalandyApproximately 50 years ago, mainly young people — disillusioned by the continued colonial nature of the country, the deep racism, classism and limited opportunities — made brave efforts to improve things. Instead of the then government, led by Dr Eric Williams, listening and properly engaging with these persons, the leaders of the movement were arrested and jailed, people were beaten and brutalized, and persons were hunted, shot and even killed. “Law and order” were not about the best interest of the citizens but about preserving the status quo. Fifty years later we are faced with unrests that parallel the Hosay Riots, the Camboulay Riots, the 1919 Labour riots, the 1930s Labour uprisings, and the 1970s Black Power movement. It is this eruption of discontent from those who are experiencing the depths of marginalization and brutality that has historically brought about the greatest improvements in conditions in unjust social structures. All of them were met with brutal violence by authorities, yet when history looks back, all these events were important parts of the evolution of our society. By all indications, the present government has not learned these lessons and may repeat the grave errors of the past.
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Road Map To Recovery Team Needs Rethinking

By A. Hotep
April 17, 2020

Road Map To Recovery Team Needs RethinkingPM Dr Keith Rowley’s “Road Map to Recovery” team is mostly the same tone-deaf people who have us in our financial and social crisis today. There was no inclusion of members of the African community who advocate for addressing our racial and cultural issues which remain at the heart of disunity, insecurity and discriminatory social behaviours in this country. Why was the Opposition leader not invited to be part of this group? I am not aware of members of this team placing environmental concerns at the top of their agenda. Where are those who are concerned about the development of our agriculture and water management sectors? I rather suspect some feminists would also have similar concerns about being omitted.
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Pan Potential

By Raffique Shah
February 17, 2020

Raffique ShahAs I savour some of the best offerings from this year’s Carnival from the comfort and safety of my home, I cannot help but think of the thousands of performers and revellers out there who, even as they immerse themselves in the gaiety of the festival, must ponder the possibilities that they might become victims of some criminal act before the day or night is over.
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Robbing Hoods

By Raffique Shah
February 03, 2020

Raffique ShahAs we battle against the crime-plague that is devastating the country, and we in the media add our two-cents’ input to what should be considered a national discussion on the issue, I was jolted by an intervention from well-respected commentator Ira Mathur that turned up in my email inbox last weekend. Ira wrote that a “bomb” landed in her smart-phone in the form of a report on gang violence in Trinidad and Tobago by a researcher named Janina Pawelz of the Institute for Peace, Research and Security Policy at the University of Hamburg, Germany.
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Who is without blame?

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
January 27, 2020

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeIF one ever believed the PNM Government could solve the present crime epidemic in the country, one had better think again.

It is unlikely to do so for the simple reason that neither our Prime Minister nor Minister of National Security seems to understand the magnitude of the challenges that face our civilisation or way of life.
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Focus on one war, fellas

By Raffique Shah
January 21, 2020

Raffique ShahAs the heavily armed hardcore criminals consolidate their murderous stranglehold on our country, striking with seeming impunity anytime, anywhere they choose to, the powers-that-be go into the panic mode and respond with fusillades of “gobar” rather than superior strategy and firepower.

Gunmen wielding weapons as deadly as the AR-15 launched yet another brazen attack in downtown Port of Spain mid-afternoon last Tuesday leaving two dead, scores who were nearby soiling their under-garments, and thousands more frightened to walk the city streets. What does Minister of National Security Stuart Young say? He speaks of some vague conspiracy between the criminals and “certain people” who want to promote fear and panic among the population. Why would anyone want to do that? Hey, a general election is due by year-end, so you guess who would want to create instability, to gain political power.
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Sedition and other Nonsensical Colonial Laws

By Dr Tye Salandy
September 22, 2019

Dr Tye SalandyAs I mentioned in the first article in this three part series, the Sedition Act is not archaic or outdated, but it was an extremely bad law in the first place given its deliberate vagueness, its colonial intentions and the way that it was weaponized against those who resisted the brutal British empire. Critiquing the bill using words such as outdated and archaic gives the impression that it once was a good law, and it is just the passage of time that makes it problematic in the present time. Nothing could be further from the truth, as from its creation in Trinidad and Tobago, the sedition law was a tool of the colonial elite that was used against the public interest.
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Independence, sedition and legislative violence

Of Independence, sedition and legislative violence: how elitist laws have damaged the nation

By Dr Tye Salandy
September 02, 2019
UPDATED: September 03, 2019

Sedition, careful, careful how you talking … hey hey!

Sedition, careful, careful whey you walking

Incompetent idiots have genuine patriots

Always under escort in the sedition court.

—The Mighty Sparrow (Sedition)

Dr Tye SalandyThe Sedition Act, used recently to charge Watson Duke (and earlier Michael Seales and Abu Bakr), is a dangerous law that has no place in our law books. This Sedition Act, along with marijuana laws, anti-loitering laws, vagrancy laws, and obeah laws, is part of a long list of colonial laws that are still on the books.
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