Four police officers involved in the now-controversial traffic stop and search of the Commissioner of Police’s daughter and son-in-law have been transferred out of the Couva CID.
Police sources at that station told Guardian Media yesterday that two officers were transferred on Wednesday when they reported for duty at Couva and the other two were transferred when they turned up for work yesterday morning.
Two of the officers have been posted to the Freeport Police Station, one at the Chaguanas Police Station and the other at the Cunupia Police Station.
The officers, Cpl Badree, WPC Francis, WPC Baptiste and PC Goinda, were all involved in a stop and search of the Commissioner’s daughter T’Shana Griffith-Bain and her husband Da Vvian Bain on Monday.
During the incident, which Griffith-Bain alleged was recorded by both Badree and Goinda on their cellphones, the couple’s vehicle was also searched. The couple has since released their own statements on the incident and on Thursday, their attorney Jagdeo Singh said they intend to take the State to court over it.
The couple’s lawsuit states that the police’s right to stop and search the public should be clearly defined. Singh told Guardian Media police who cannot act without being abusive should not be in the T&T Police Service.
The couple also argues that their lives were put in danger by the dissemination of their images and vehicle registration number in the videos that were posted on social media on Monday night.
The Police Complaints Authority (PCA) confirmed on Wednesday that it had started an investigation into the incident. The Professional Standards Bureau is also investigating.
Police Commissioner Gary Griffith has stated several times he will not comment on the incident, saying he will not get involved.
Yesterday, however, the source at the Couva Police Station questioned the reasons for the transfers.
“Clearly, there has been some intervention in some way to initiate such a move. There are many similar video recording interactions with police whilst executing their duties, which may have caused the initiation of several investigations. Public office being used for private gain and benefit perhaps?” the source asked.
But in an interview with senior police officers, Guardian Media was told the officers were transferred because of their actions on Wednesday when PCA investigators visited the Couva Police Station to start compiling information for their independent probe.
A senior officer said at that time, two of the officers refused to allow the PCA investigators into the station and also refused to give them access to the station diary. As such, the senior officer said they were transferred to prevent them from further interfering in the investigation of the matter. In particular, the senior officer said they wanted to ensure that there was no “padding” of the station diary to change the account of the incident that was previously recorded.