PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad and Tobago, October 3, 2018 (CMC) – The Trinidad and Tobago government, today, said it intends bringing legislation to parliament that would increase the severity of the punishment for persons, found guilty of murdering or injuring law enforcement officials.
National Security Minster, Stuart Young, speaking at a news conference, following the murder of a senior prison officer, on Tuesday night, said also that an inter-agency task force would be working, alongside the prison authorities, in investigating the murder of Acting Superintendent of Prisons, Wayne Jackson.
“Today is indeed a dark day (but) Mr. Jackson’s life will not be lost in vain,” Young said, adding “the message I would like to send to Trinidad and Tobago …is that you touch one, you touch all of us and we are not going to accept the criminal element targeting any of our law enforcement”.
Young, flanked by the leadership of the security agencies here, including recently appointed Police Commissioner Gary Griffith, said “we are making renewed, rejuvenated, more energetic efforts to ensure that the criminal elements fail…
“We are going to do everything, within our control, to make sure there’s an appropriate reaction and a sustainable reaction to this, going forward,” he said, noting that one of the decisions taken so far, is to have an inter-agency task force working along with the prison service “in dealing with the criminal element that may operate, both on the inside of the prison walls as well as on the outside”.
Young said that the new legislation would be brought before the Parliament by January next year, increasing the punishment for criminals, who kill or injure law enforcement officers.
The National Security Minister said that there will also be an increase in the punishment, meted out to corrupt officers, who are caught in trafficking of guns and drugs.
Meanwhile, as the death toll pushed past 400, with the murder of three men, including a musician at a bar in south Trinidad, Young told reporters “there is no doubt that Trinidad and Tobago, right now, is fighting a scourge of crime”.
Video footage, circulated on the social network, showed a gunman killing musician, Shivie Ramdhanie, at a bar in Penal, in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
Ramdhanie, who was a member of the local rock band, Bon Cane, was at the bar, when the three armed men entered the building and began shooting.
The video shows Ramdhani, who was seated at a table with others, being shot, multiple times, in the back of the head. Another person was shot in the leg.
Ramdhani died at the scene and the men escaped in a waiting vehicle.
“We woke to terrible news that we are still trying to come to terms with. One of our brothers, bassist, in local metal band, Bon Cane, Shivie Ramdhanie, was senselessly killed early this morning,” the band said in a statement.
“Deepest condolences go out to the members of Bon Cane, to Shivie’s friends and his family. May everyone Shivie’s life touched, find some sort of comfort in this tragic time. Rock in Peace Shivie,” the group said.
The band was due to tour Guyana and Suriname at the end of October.