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Roget, Abdulah go after cop for spraying residents during protest

Published: 
Sunday, January 14, 2018
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OWTU president general Ancel Roget looks at the injuries on Joycelyn Neptune during a visit with Movememt for Social Justice Leader,David Abdullah (in back ground) in New Grant yesterday. Photo by:RISHI RAGOONATH

SASCHA WILSON

Sixty-year-old Joycelyn Neptune, who claimed she was injured when a a police officer hosed down a group of protesting villagers in New Grant last week, has reported the incident at the Princes Town Police Station.

Describing the officer's behaviour as repressive, Oilfield Workers Trade Union Ancel Roget who, together with Movement for Social Justice leader David Abdulah and other members, met with residents at Sixth Company, pledged to ensure the residents get justice. Abdulah said he will be writing to the Police Complaints Authority (PCA) Director David West about the incident.

Last Wednesday, police officers clashed with residents following a heated protest in which residents blocked the roads and burned debris to highlight the deplorable roads and drainage conditions in their community. Videos circulating on social media show a senior officer spraying the residents with water from a hose while another shows a clash with police and residents.

Neptune said since the incident she has not been able to see properly in her right eye and her head was swollen and painful.

Neptune recalled that she was standing near a wall and looking on. She said the police officers were peaceful until a certain officer came. "And I said to him when he was spraying a young lady, 'Sir, are a fireman or a police?' and he sprayed me in my eye."

She said she fell to the ground and was only seeing white in her right eye. "I am not leaving it so. I am hurt. I am painful, my head swell right now. I went and get my medical and made a report and something must be done about this," she said. Another resident, Tenelle Hackett, 23, who was also sprayed down, said one of her eyes was injured and she intends to make a report today.

Roget said the union will be taking up this matter. "That is wrong, and that police ought to be brought to book. We have to take that police down for doing what he did. He must not get away with that. You are not above the law."

Abdulah said he will arrange for Neptune and the other residents to meet with the PCA. "People cannot hide behind a police number or badge to do wrong against peaceful law-abiding citizens of T&T."

Abdulah said he will also arrange for Rural Development and Local Government Minister Kazim Hosein and and Works Minister Rohan Sinanan to visit the community by Saturday with a plan of action. Several residents' homes have also been damaged or destroyed because of the landslips.