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Cops accused of ‘private duty’ on QP Savannah stage
While the police generally worked well during Carnival Monday and Tuesday, head of the National Carnival Bands Association (NCBA) David Lopez is accusing some officers of unlawfully using their powers.
He alleged that some police were on the stage at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain, on Carnival Monday and Tuesday working privately for bandleaders. “They are there in their private capacity, contracted to the various bands, but they have their police identification badges on them,” he said.
“If there are any problems they would flash their badge indicating they are police, and once an officer does that, people would have to comply with whatever instructions they give...So what could the NCBA marshal do?” Lopez asked.
The marshals are normally posted to ensure there is order in the bands. Saying this problem had been going on for a number of years, Lopez said it had also been raised with Deputy Police Commissioner Raymond Craig during pre-Carnival meetings, but the top cop said he was unaware of such claims.
Lopez also raised another incident involving a police officer during Carnival. He said a particular band was overstaying its time on stage and refused to comply with the marshal’s instructions. When approached for assistance, Lopez claimed, a senior officer said he was “not here for that.” Calls to Craig’s phone went unanswered yesterday.
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