Attorney General Anand Ramlogan says “a sharp line” must be drawn by the society to prevent incidents like the killing of acting police corporal Terrence Abraham, who died after being shot in Couva on Tuesday night.
Ramlogan also said there must be “a certain measure of understanding and appreciation” for the sacrifices made by law enforcement.
He did so while speaking to reporters after attending a ceremony for the appointment of 75 new marriage licence officers at Cabildo Chambers in Port of Spain; just hours after undergoing minor surgery for the removal of a cyst on one of his eyelids due to what he said was the accumulation of dust on his eyelashes.
As he spoke of Abraham’s killing, Ramlogan recalled the death Sergeant Hayden Manwaring, who was killed while trying to foil a robbery in February.
“And then to see what happened last night, that four men could just bump a police officer (Abraham) and then come out and just shoot him in cold blood. That is what the police officers face, that is what our prisons officers face sometimes and we have to have a certain measure of understanding and appreciation,” Ramlogan said.
He then spoke of “so-called protesters” sometimes “orchestrated by the very bandits who want the police to get out of their areas, so that they could continue their wrongdoing in these areas because they own those communities.
“So we need to draw a sharp line. We need to take our responsibility very carefully and analyse the situation sometimes, or else the by-product is what happened last night (Abraham’s killing on Tuesday),” Ramlogan said.
In addition, he spoke about the planned interception of text messages from prison inmates in light of concerns in the society of widespread wiretapping.
“Look in Trinidad everybody say you hear a phone clicking, you’re hearing an echo in the background, I hear it on mine too, quite frankly but I mean, you know, I can’t, we really don’t involve ourselves in the work of the law enforcement agencies, and if it is they have to listen to my conversation or yours if they have reasonable suspicion and grounds to do so, then so be it,” Ramlogan said.
He further said, “A lot of those feelings and perceptions are not justified in terms of it being interception. I’ve been told that it really has to do with the network, where you are, water clogging the line, I really don’t know.”
Asked if the interception of texts from prison inmates will fall under the Interceptions of Communications Act, Ramlogan said, “Oh yes, yes, and you can go to the court and get a judicial warrant and you can conduct the interceptions, but we have to recognise we have a problem.”