NONE of the police officers who shot and killed Beetham teenager Akiel "Alkaline" Thomas on Monday were outfitted with body cameras.
Sources yesterday said that as a result of this, the police officer assigned to probe the killing will have to depend on eye-witness accounts and CCTV footage to assist him in bringing closure to the case.
Police sources said when body cameras were introduced to the Police Service it started as a pilot project involving officers from the Inter-Agency Task Force who were given the body cameras to wear at all times once on official duty.
Yesterday, an IATF officer said all of the cameras were transferred from the Task Force to officers of the Central and Northern Divisions. He added that officers who work in the Enterprise area, use the cameras while on patrols, while in the Northern Division, some of that area's Task Force officers and those involved in continuous exercises, avail themselves of the cameras.
There are about 40 body cameras in the Police Service after it was introduced in 2016. Newsday understands that ASP Rawle Ramdeo of Port-of-Spain CID is assigned to investigate Thomas’ killing.
Sources revealed that the only clear footage of the shooting remains in the hands of a man who police have identified as a gang leader.
Officers said the shooting took place near this man’s home and attempts will be made to have him give the footage to investigators.
Thomas was reportedly shot by police when he pointed a gun at them but did not have time to fire it.