People's National Movement (PNM) councillor Jason Alexander yesterday called for security guards who work in Carnival bands to undergo proper training, after he was beaten by guards from the band Yuma on Monday evening.
In a telephone interview with the T&T Guardian yesterday, Alexander said he was speaking with his attorney on the best way forward following the beating, part of which was recorded and posted on social network sites yesterday.
The 49-second clip, which sparked outrage online, showed Alexander being kicked, cuffed, slapped and beaten with a baton by male security officers and one female, all dressed in black.
Alexander said around 5.30 pm he was at Taylor Street, Woodbrook, where he had met up with friends who were playing in Yuma. Alexander, who was playing with Island People, said he was told to leave the band by security officers.
He said he turned to tell his friends he was leaving, but before he could do so he was accosted by the guards, who shoved him out of the band.
Alexander said one of his female friends attempted to intervene on his behalf, but she was cuffed in the face by a male security guard, while another of his friends was shoved and another slapped–despite the fact that they were all legitimate Yuma band members.
After the brutal attack he and his friends were all chased away from the band.
"It could have been anyone, forget the title and whatever, but those guards need training. Right now I am considering my options and I am receiving advice from my lawyers," Alexander, who suffered injuries to his back, elbow and other parts of his body, told the T&T Guardian yesterday, adding that he had already reported the incident to the Woodbrook Police Station and would be meeting with the Minister of Culture Nyan Gadsby-Dolly and other Carnival stakeholders.
One of the three Canadian nationals involved in the incident, Nzunaki Tuitt, 35, said she would be taking the matter to the Canadian Embassy today along with compatriot Jenice Parker, 23.
Tuitt said she wanted all her money back as she did not have a true Yuma experience and was willing to give back the costume if necessary.
"The video was just the remnant of what happened. Jason was already outside the band and he saw that they slapped me and he came back and they beat him. They bullied him," an upset Tuitt said.
"I was thrown out because I told them they didn't need to push him and then when I started to mouth off on them a man slapped me and my friend came to my aid and she was cuffed in the mouth."
Tuitt said someone needs to be charged for assaulting them and also criticised police officers along the band route who, instead of taking the initial report, told the women to go to the Woodbrook Police Station.
She said the use of force by the guards was uncalled for, as Alexander had already left the band.
She says she was later told that the guards involved were fired, but she hopes the band's management goes a step further and informs the police of those who may have been responsible for the attacks.