Media raids disturbed public

(Trinidad Express) An unnecessary level of muscle was used in the two police raids on media houses, particularly the one on Newsday, given the nature of the complaint, chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC) Dr Ramesh Deosaran said on Friday.

Speaking at the Joint Select Committee (JSC) meeting at Tower D of the Waterfront Centre in Port of Spain, Deosaran said greater care ought to have been used by the police in executing the search warrants because they were dealing with an institution which is protected under the Constitution.

“It disturbed the public and it disturbed a lot of us who have always cherished freedom of the press, even when we have been criticised and sometimes treated unfairly (by the media). It is better to have a free press on all circumstances,” he said.

Deosaran said he planned to raise this issue at the next meeting with Police Commissioner Dwayne Gibbs.

Police executed a search warrant on TV6 last December to secure a tape of a Crime Watch show. One month later, the police raided Newsday’s offices and searched the home of reporter Andre Bagoo. The police conducted the raid based on a complaint filed by Integrity Commission chairman Ken Gordon that confidential information from the Commission was given to an unauthorised person.