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Friday, November 27, 2020

Trinidad: Pregnant woman shot dead as protests engulf Port of Spain over police killing

Trinidad Express) A pregnant woman, who was among street protestors yesterday, was shot, and has died at hospital.

Ornella Greaves, 30, died while being treated at the Port of Spain General Hospital.

Greaves was one of three people shot around 10 a.m. at Beetham Gardens – one of numerous points of fiery protests and demonstrators across north Trinidad.

A video emerged on social media showing Greaves amid a cluster of protestors while police officers attempted to quell the demonstration.

Several gunshots were heard in the video, and moments later Greaves was seen unresponsive on the ground. Protestors lifted her and placed her in a vehicle.

The Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) is claiming that there was an orchestrated plan to destabilize the country by a few, and it has been quelled.

So far, 72 persons have been arrested, and others are expected to be charged when investigations are completed, the TTPS said in a statement yesterday afternoon.

This after fiery protests in and around Port of Spain triggered by Saturday’s killing of three men in Second Caledonia. The men were killed by police officers who claim they were defending themselves a claim that is not being supported by video evidence.

According to the TTPS, Intelligence has revealed that this was an orchestrated plan that was led by several gang members, whereby the intention was to use the shooting of the three young men a few days ago, as a front to cover the planned plot to shut down the country.

Commissioner of Police, Gary Griffith said that any police officer charged for a violent crime, should be removed from the Service, since officers are expected to be at a higher standard.

However, it is unacceptable that some, in their desire for justice, can expect any law abiding citizen to justify this demand by condoning others to break the law, as was done today, he said.

Well-orchestrated

“This was a well-orchestrated plot by certain gang leaders in the hope to get national support, when they commenced their plan to cause mayhem, fear, and destruction throughout the country.

“This was wishful thinking, as it has only exposed who the real enemy is, when the nation saw it for themselves, via the plan to destabilize the country, and put law abiding citizens in harm’s way.

Based on prior intelligence, mere hours before these criminal elements commenced their act, the TTPS was prepared” he said.

The TTPS claims that the plan to shut down the country involved setting fire to certain places, from along the Beetham to Port of Spain, and when Police Officers arrived, they would be fired upon. The plan was to kill police officers and to shoot up police stations. These same criminal elements used the opportunity yesterday and again this morning, to rob law-abiding citizens.

It was to continue with wild random shots to be fired throughout the country to cause further havoc. This included shots being fired at the Office of the Attorney General, which was actually done.

On several occasions, shots were also fired at police officers in different parts of the city. The plot was to also block roads in the hope that it would shut down the country.

According to Griffith “ their plan failed miserably and the TTPS is in full control. With the immediate and strong assistance of the SSA, TTDF, Fire Services, and the National Operation Fusion Centre (NOFC), we were able to quell any disturbance within minutes of the commencement of the plan.“

According to the TTPS, the Command Centre provided real time information of every incident within seconds of the commencement, via reports from the Opera-tional and Intelligence Units, as well as real time video footage from the CCTV system and the cameras on the ERP vehicles.

The CCTV footage was able to see in real time, every incident, of certain gang members lighting fire to tyres and throwing debris and even overturning vehicles to block roads throughout Port of Spain and environs, upon which the TTPS was able to immediately send operational units, inclusive of units in the POS, North Eastern and Western Divisions, as well as the IATF, MOPS, GEB, SORT, and the Mobile Extraction Prisoner vehicle, to quell the disturbance, and disperse or arrest those breaking the law.

Tactical support

“The TTDF and Fire Services were also immediately at hand to provide tactical support, remove debris and out fires, so their assistance and support to the TTPS, was instrumental to deal with the situation, and the COP wishes to thank them for their support to prevent the plot planned by a few criminal elements.

“The operation is ongoing, as the COP has directed that the Alert State for the TTPS remains at red, and the nation would be under heavy police surveillance for the next 48 hours.

“Police officers would be positioned at strategic locations, both overt and covert, to ensure that those few criminal elements cannot destabilize the country as was planned”.

According to the TTPS, CCTV footage at every site where fires were started and roads blocked, show clearly the faces of the perpetrators, some known to the police, and would be used to find them and have them arrested.

Griffith assured that the recent incident involving the death of three men in Morvant, is being thoroughly investigated, both by the TTPS and also the independent body of the PCA, and when the findings are completed, the nation would be informed and the TTPS would act in accordance with what was revealed.

“Until that time, the COP also gives the assurance to the nation that no criminal element can, or would be allowed to use this incident as an excuse to break the law.

“He assures the nation that there is no need to panic due to the irresponsible act of a few, and that the TTPS remains in full control, and would continue to monitor, survey, and be fully operational under Red Alert, to prevent any criminal element from attempting to destabilize the nation” the TTPS stated.

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