Category Archives: Police

Winning hearts and minds

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
August 22, 2022

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeA call to my grandnephew, Devon La Touche, a library assistant at the Beetham Gardens Community Library (BGCL) and the Joint Community Service Centre in Gonzales, on Wednesday and Thursday respectively, led to two instructive days.

Devon attends to the young pupils who visit the library to use the Internet and play games on the Internet. Before they do so, they are required to read for half an hour. Such is their anxiety to get to the computers that they joyously do their reading just to get to the computers. Adults hardly attend the library.
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Beetham: man vs corbeaux

By Raffique Shah
July 11, 2022

Raffique ShahMany moons ago, when I was young, idealistic and very much a utopian dreamer, I had a vision for a new Beetham community. It will have formed in the early 1960s when I first travelled to Port of Spain frequently.

The route the taxis used from Chaguanas was the relatively new Princess Margaret Highway (commissioned in 1954, I think), turning west onto the Churchill-Roosevelt (built by the US armed forces in 1941 to service the largest air force base in this part of the world, Fort Read in Wallerfield, and used exclusively by military vehicles until it was handed over to the local authorities in 1949). The CRH ended at Barataria. From that point, before the Beetham Highway was opened in ’56, all traffic to PoS had to return to the Eastern Main Road to access PoS.
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FULs no solution to crime problem

By Raffique Shah
January 31, 2022

Raffique ShahIf there was anything shocking about the non-appointment of a new Commissioner of Police, the simultaneous publication of the retired Justice Stanley John’s report and the stench that emanated from the innards of the records room when its files were opened, it was the surprise expressed by citizens over the scandalous state of affairs in the Police Service.
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Disliking African Materials

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
April 26, 2021

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeOn the same day Derek Chauvin, a white police officer in the US, was found guilty of murdering George Floyd, a black man, Gerald Ramdeen, attorney for suspended Inspector Mark Hernandez, head of the Special Operations Response Team (SORT), defended the innocence of Hernandez, who was charged with misbehaviour in public office.

Ramdeen remarked: “Mark represents a true patriot of Trinidad and Tobago and was responsible for weeding out heinous criminals and monsters who plague society off the streets. If there were more patriots like him Trinidad and Tobago would not be in the situation it is today.” (Express, April 20.)
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The Gaslighting of America

By Selwyn R. Cudjoe
April 19, 2021

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeThis week we will know the fate of Derek Chauvin, the police officer who placed his knee on George Floyd’s neck, an act that led to his death. It was a crime that inflamed the sensibilities of many people around the world, especially those people who have fought for racial justice for most of their lives. Chauvin invoked his Fifth Amendment right not to testify for fear that he might incriminate himself. That may have been a smart move.
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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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Thinking Race/Understanding Color

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
September 21, 2020

“Nobody can be properly termed educated who knows little or nothing of the history of his own race and of his country.”

—Frederick Alexander Durham, The Lone-Star of Liberia.

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeIn his epoch-breaking work Capitalism and Slavery, Eric Williams noted that racism is a product of slavery. “The reason,” he says “was economic, not racial; it had to do not with the color of the labor, but the cheapness of the labor.” On the other hand, in White Over Black, Winthrop Jordan argued that racism predated slavery, citing three distinct prejudices that conditioned the English responses to Africans: our blackness, which signified filth, sin and evil; being uncivilized; and our not being Christian.
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New video emerges in Morvant police killing

By Darren Bahaw
July 09, 2020 – newsday.co.tt

PoliceA second disturbing video has surfaced on social media of events which took place after police shot and killed three men on June 27, in Second Caledonia, Morvant.

It has sparked new criticism in comments online from people who have watched the 39-second clip.

The video, which appeared to have been recorded by a home security camera, from in front, shows the actions of police from a different angle, seconds after the shooting incident.
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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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