Police Commissioner Gary Griffith has launched an investigation into a fiery protest staged by residents in Sangre Grande on Friday night, ahead of a batch of recovering COVID-19 patients being taken into the area.
During the incident, residents reportedly burned debris along Bridge Road. Around 10 pm close to 15 angry residents reportedly protested the plan to relocate recovering COVID-19 patients to a refurbished home for the aged in the Brooklyn Settlement community.
Police who were called to the scene extinguished the debris and subsequently interviewed the residents who participated in the action.
In a release yesterday, Griffith repeated an earlier warning that people will not be allowed to block roads and burn tyres during protests.
The CoP said the days of protests by residents who break the law because they are dissatisfied with problems in their communities will not be tolerated.
He advised that anyone seen in the vicinity of such protests will be interviewed for lengthy periods to assist the police in their probes into those responsible for the protests.
The CoP said: “You have your right to protest, you have your right to assembly, you have your right to march, but we need to understand that your right could never supersede and override the laws of Trinidad and Tobago or the rights of others.”
Griffith said while the TTPS was not seeking to deprive people of their right to protest, there is a thin line between having rights and breaching the law. Video footage showing people at the scene of the protest is also being used to form part of the investigation.
The CoP said they will not hesitate to act and arrest persons in accordance with the Summary Offences Act, Chapter 11:02, Section 64 (1) (n), which states: “Any person who commits any of the following offences in any street is, for each offence, liable to a fine of two hundred dollars or to imprisonment for one month, that is to say, any person who: (n) in any way wilfully obstructs the free passage of any street.”