Tag Archives: Crime in T&T

The Dangers of Narcissism

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
March 15, 2021

From politician to the ordinary farmer, Hutus united to get rid of the ‘cockroaches,’ working together to exterminate their Tutsi friends, neighbors, co-workers and family members.

—Kennedy Ndahiro, “Dehumanization: How the Tutsis were reduced to cockroaches, snakes to be killed.”

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeI use to think that the motto of the Trinidad and Tobago Constabulary was “to protect and serve.” Unfortunately, it seems that its present mission is “to belittle and berate.” Listening to Gary Griffith, the Commissioner of Police, one would think he is at war with the society or anyone who criticize his opinions or performance.
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Who really are the monsters?

By Dr Selwyn Cudjoe
February 23, 2021

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeSome people described the killing of Andrea Bharatt as “monstrous”, “brutal”, “horrible”, and “barbarous”. Those responsible for her death were called “monsters” or “Lucifers in the flesh”.

An autopsy showed the horrendous manner in which Andrea was killed. Rich and poor, Africans and Indians, urban and rural folks, were all repulsed by the barbarity of her killers.
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Monsters & Monstrosities

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
February 15, 2021

“Freeing yourself was one thing; claiming ownership of that freed self was another.”

—Toni Morrison, Beloved

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeFaris Al-Rawi was in a fighting mood last Monday. He was not afraid to outline the depths to which we, as a people, had descended. Calling on the Opposition to support the Evidence Amendment Bill to deal with the “monsters” who had committed a heinous act against Andrea Bharatt, he declared: “Today, we have an opportunity… to stop monsters.”

Ascending to rhetorical heights, he chastised citizens who were trying to salvage a sliver of their humanity by speaking out against an inhuman strain that had arisen in our society:
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Do not pollute protests with politics

By Raffique Shah
February 15, 2021

Raffique ShahI was wondering how many more candlelight vigils that seemed to be a genuine groundswell of public opinion on violent crimes against women would be staged in the name of abduction and murder victim Andrea Bharatt before two-by-two politicians sought to hijack what they would see as a mass movement they could ride for narrow self-interests, from photo-opportunities and media coverage to the prospect of political power.
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Candles, tears and selected outrage

By Aileen Alexis
February 11, 2021

lettersThe kidnapping and murder of a young court clerk, Andrea Bharratt has evoked strong emotions from a wide cross-section of the Trinibagonian population. Protests, vigils and calls for legislation regarding the use of non-lethal weapons such as pepper spray and tasers, and the resumption of hangings have all become some of the manifestations of these emotions.
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Be careful when you hunt rapists

By Raffique Shah
February 08, 2021

Raffique ShahTHE outrage expressed by many people over the most recent case of the abduction and murder of a young woman is understandable.

We cannot believe that there exist among us depraved people who are capable of committing atrocities, inflicting extreme violence on women with seemingly consummate ease and callous detachment. It’s as if they are cast in some science fiction horror movie, acting out their darkest obsessions and cruellest fantasies, except the victims are real live people who end up very dead, sometimes mutilated and tortured before they die.
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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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