(Trinidad Express) Commissioner of Police Dwayne Gibbs is “very concerned” by statements made on Wednesday by Minister of Justice Herbert Volney, which described Atiba Duncan’s killing as a “homicide”.
Speaking at a news conference at the Ministry of Justice located at Tower C of the Waterfront Centre, Port of Spain on Wednesday Volney had said, based on his past experience as a Judge and the autopsy report that revealed Duncan was shot in the back, the officers involved in the death were culpable. Responding to Volney’s statements, the Public Affairs Unit of the police service yesterday issued a release which said the statements made may “prejudice the outcome and integrity of the investigation”, as well as any potential court case.
The release, signed by director of the Unit, Sharon Lee Assang, added that Gibbs has communicated with Minister of National Security Brigadier John Sandy requesting his intervention as the statements may have far-reaching consequences for the investigation that is currently underway.
“It is the Director of Public Prosecutions who is the person who makes the determination who will be charged for any offence. His determination is based on evidence and investigations carried out by an investigator,” the release said.
Speaking at the daily press briefing yesterday, public information officer of the Police Service Wayne Mystar said Volney’s statements, as well as others in recent times, are “very hurtful”, adding that it is within the best interest of police officers “not to be demoralised”.
Duncan, 24, also known as “Happy Feet”, was shot and killed by police on April 4 after they reportedly went to execute an arrest warrant on him. Police claim he attempted to shoot at them as they were about to issue a warrant on him. However, residents of the area countered police officers’ version of the story and held protests to express their displeasure. An investigation into Duncan’s death was launched by the police and the Police Complaints Authority (PCA).
Mystar yesterday assured that the investigation into Duncan’s death, which is being conducted by ASP Neville Sanker, will be fair and above board.