No one is above the law.
This was the stance taken by Minister of National Security Stuart Young took during a press conference at his ministry on Abercromby Street, Port of Spain, yesterday.
Young, responding to talk that the government was protecting certain criminal elements, told reporters neither he, the ministry nor the government was afraid of any criminal, and the public should not be either.
“This administration is not prepared to protect anyone (criminal). I have seen it suggested that we are afraid of certain elements in society.
"I can give you the assurance without fear of contradiction, having had conversations with the chairman of the National Security Council, and on behalf of the National Security Council chairman and myself, we are not intimidated or afraid of anyone. I certainly am not afraid of any criminal in TT. As I told the law enforcement agencies and our men and women in the defence force and security services, I support them fully.” Young said.
“Do not be afraid of anyone. No one is above the law. No one (criminals) will be protected under my watch. Whoever engages in criminal activity must feel the full brunt of the law against them.”
While encouraging the public to support the protective services, and to show the police respect while theydo their job, Young also pointed out that police need to be careful and courteous.
He made the statement while commenting on the death of an electrician from San Raphael, who was shot dead last weekend by police executing a warrant.
“Police always have to be careful and err on the side of caution when conducting their duties. Every time an innocent person’s life is lost it is a tragedy for the country, in my humble opinion.."
But he added, "People need to understand when police go into areas and conduct these exercises, it is unacceptable to verbally abuse the police officers and stand in the way of them doing their job and duty to the country. Those are actually crimes.”
Young said the Police Complaints Authority and the Professional Standards Bureau are the two bodies who investigate police-involved shootings.