PCA recommends criminal proceedings against Tobago SRP

THE POLICE Complaints Authority (PCA) has recommended disciplinary and criminal proceedings be invoked against a special reserve police officer involved in a shooting incident in Charlotteville, Tobago, last year.

On Thursday, the PCA wrote to attorney Martin George, who represents Charlotteville resident Zauvaughn Benjamin, who made the initial complaint, informing him of the authority’s recommendations.

Last year, attorney Janelle Ramsaroop, of Martin George and Co, wrote a letter of complaint to then Minister of National Security Stuart Young questioning if the ministry, or the police, had a “shoot on sight” policy for anyone allegedly caught breaching covid19 stay-at-home regulations.

Benjamin, of Belle Aire Road, made a complaint that he was shot by a police officer for allegedly breaching the regulations on April 6, 2020.

In the letter, Benjamin’s attorneys said their client was standing in in his relative’s yard at J.D Elder Drive in Charlotteville when he noticed a police vehicle driving on the road.

He admittedly ran when he saw the officers but said he did so because he thought he was in breach of the regulations which encouraged citizens to remain at home and were in effect until April 30, 2020.

His lawyers also maintained when he was eventually caught, he surrendered but was immediately, without warning, shot in both knees at point-blank range by an officer.

Benjamin was allegedly dragged along the road, thrown into the vehicle, and taken to the Scarborough General Hospital, where he was treated.

A bullet is still lodged in one knee, his attorneys say.

Benjamin then made a complaint to the PCA against the officer.

The PCA’s letter was received by George on Tuesday, which confirmed their recommendations for both disciplinary proceedings and criminal proceedings to be brought against the police officer.

Benjamin has also indicated his intention to institute High Court proceedings against the State for the policeman’s actions.

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