TRINIDAD – The 12 police officers allegedly involved in pouring hot water on a suspect at Sangre Grande Police Station in late February have been charged following instructions from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), the Trinidad Express has reported.
The newspaper said reliable police sources disclosed that among those charged are an acting inspector, a sergeant, three acting corporals and six constables including a female constable.
Their charges may include occasioning actual bodily harm, beating by assault, misbehaviour in public office, and perverting the course of justice.
The majority of the police officers charged were held at Sangre Grande Police Station, while others were arrested at their homes in Sangre Grande, Biche and Rio Claro. One police officer was found hiding in the ceiling of the dormitory at Mayaro Police Station.
The arrests stemmed from an incident involving Andrew Lewis who gave himself up to police at the Sangre Grande station on February 25 for questioning in a housebreaking and larceny matter.
During Lewis’ interrogation, police officers allegedly stripped him naked, heated a bowl of water in a microwave and then threw the hot water on his lower extremities and stomach.
Following the incident, the five officers who were allegedly directly involved were transferred out of the station to remote police stations.
However, senior police sources reliably informed the Trinidad Express that the Professional Standards Bureau – which is responsible for investigating allegations of misconduct against officers in the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service – threw a wider net during its investigations and discovered that immediately after the incident several other officers who had knowledge of it refused to report the matter.
The police officers are expected to appear before a Sangre Grande magistrate next Tuesday.