Commissioner of Police, Gary Griffith, has launched an investigation into a report that about 15 persons blocked Bridge Road, Sangre Grande, with burning debris last night in protest of the reported removal of COVID-19 patients from the Couva Hospital to a building in their area.
As a result of the protest, Chairman of the Sangre Grande Regional Corporation, Anil Juteram, is assisting the police in this investigation, said Griffith in a statement this afternoon.
On Juteram's Facebook page is the following message:
Brooklyn Residents Say No To Alleged Coronavirus Covid -19 Patients Being Housed In Their Quiet Village Inside Bridge Road Sangre Grande. Please let the SGT from TTPS know that the question he asked residents about "What that man doing there ,I don't want no politics" was rather distastefull and lacks merit. Tonight was no politics SGT name given to me. Tonight was about poor people trying to protect a village of innocent children senior citizens and saving lives. Tonight was not the night to ask people who you vote for or who you voting for Mr Commissioner at times like these your officers must not ask these questions.100 people according to what we know of tested positive for Covid-19. Let it be known We will not sit and allow any part of Sangre Grande or our Region To be a holding bay for any Coronavirus Covid-19 patients .
At around 10p.m. police responded to a report and on arrival found Bridge Road blocked with burning debris. There were about 15 persons present. Based on information received, the persons were protesting the apparent relocation of the patients to a refurbished Home for the Age in Sangre Grande. Police removed the protestors while the burning debris was extinguished by fire officers.
Griffith has since launched an investigation into this protest.
He said that people would not be allowed to block roads and burn tyres as was done in the past.
He 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 says anyone seen in the vicinity of such protests, will be interviewed for lengthy periods to assist the police as to who are responsible for these protests.
Griffith 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."