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Pastor at policeman’s funeral: Mafia directing murders in T&T
Seventh Day Adventist Pastor Clyde Dottin yesterday urged citizens to declare war on criminals as he spoke at the funeral of murdered police sergeant Hayden Manwaring “Officer Manwaring put country before self. That is why he had this outstanding influence on us and his death must not go in vain,” Dottin said.
During a melancholy but spirited send-off for Manwaring, who died last week Tuesday after being shot by bandits, Dottin implored citizens to act as national security advisers and to exercise the moral and social values needed to curb the rapidly increasing crime rate. He preached to teary-eyed mourners crammed into the First Church of the Open Bible in San Fernando.
He said: “We are not going to win the battle against crime without integrity. While people argue about whether we should have a buying squad, a dying squad and a flying squad, Hayden was a member of the patriotic squad. “If Hayden’s death has not touched you individuals who bleed with corruption, nothing else will touch you. Here is a man who could have chosen to go for a bulletproof vest, here is a man who could have chosen to wait for back-up forces but he felt lives were in danger and he sacrificed his life.”
Speaking for the ears of National Security Minister Jack Warner, Attorney General Anand Ramlogan, Minister of Justice Christlyn Moore, Minister of National Diversity and Social Integration Clifton De Coteau and acting Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams, all of whom attended the funeral, Dottin contended there were Latin American criminal organisations working in T&T.
He said local criminals were being governed by international crime syndicates which were now teaching secondary school students how to kill and steal. Saying he was not afraid to die, he warned: “Let me tell you, the criminals, the local mafia and their international bosses, some have managed to compromise our security and are directing murders in the country.
“We have Latin American assassins in this country. We have Colombians in this society, hired by the godfathers who have the art of slicing heads and legs, training secondary school students to do the same thing in this society.” It was those same influences Dottin said Manwaring was fighting against.
He added: “This officer did not go out of his way to harass criminals and to be a bully. He did not operate that way at all. He operated with class and dignity so that the very ones he had a warrant to arrest were the very ones he tried to reform.” As he preached, the usually stoic figures of Snr Supt Cecil Santana and ASP Zamsheed Mohammed crumpled in anguish as they wept.
During a soulful version of Elton John’s Can You Feel The Love Tonight Manwaring’s widow, Kim, had to walk to the altar to console her husband’s colleague PC Dexter Theophille, who broke down in tears and could not finish his song. As she left the altar she caressed her husband’s coffin which was draped with the T&T Police Service flag.
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