Deputy Commission of Police Mervyn Richardson has defended his actions in detaining Oilfields Workers’ Trade Union (OWTU), President General, Ancel Roget, on Wednesday morning during a silent protest at the Hall of Justice.
DCP Richardson said Mr. Roget and his supporters had no police permission to protest in the city, and that citizens were afraid that another 1990 coup was about to take place when they saw protesters dressed in black with masks covering their faces.
“According to Roget, the march by the Joint Trade Union Movement was to commemorate the second anniversary of the State of Emergency, which was declared by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar from August 21 to December 5 in 2011”
DCP Richardson addressed a media briefing called at Police Headquarters on Wednesday, and explained that he too thought it was a coup, and confronted Roget and the protesting group outside the Hall of Justice.
Richardson said Roget was taken to the old police headquarters after he refused to stop the protest, even after admitting that he did not seek permission to hold a march.
“Clearly he was breaking the law” said Richardson.
Meantime, Acting Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams, who also addressed the media briefing, said the law did not allow people on their own volition to engage in such meetings and marches.
“Permission from the Commissioner of Police must be granted. Once you do so without permission, it is illegal. Every union leader should know the law” he said.