The T&T Publishers and Broadcasters Association (TTPBA) has written to the Police Complaints Authority (PCA) director Gillian Lucky and Commissioner of Police Dwayne Gibbs asking for an investigation and explanation of Thursday's raid at Newsday's offices. A team of police officers went to the media house on Chacon Street to search for documents relating to an article on the Integrity Commission. They seized flash drives and laptops belonging to reporter Andre Bagoo who wrote an article about the Commission.
TTPBA president Kiran Maharaj said freedom of the press is enshrined in the Constitution and when such incidents occur it appears to be an attack on and a threat to democracy. She wrote to Lucky and Gibbs yesterday about the raid at Newsday, as well as one at CCN TV6 in December. Maharaj said the manner in which the raids were conducted were inconsistent with normal police procedure for serving a warrant, especially at a media house. In a separate statement, the TTPBA said it was unclear what the grounds were for such a show of police force.
"While the TTPBA does not seek to interfere with the course of justice, the manner in which these raids have been conducted may be interpreted as acts of intimidation. "The role of our media practitioners is to inform our public. When such raids are conducted it sends a negative message that the police are trying to muzzle the media."