THE Police Complaints Authority (PCA) is said to be keeping a close eye on the Professional Standards Bureau’s (PSB) investigation into the “arrest” of a female traffic warden by an off-duty policeman in Port of Spain on Monday.
The incident was recorded and uploaded to social media where it quickly went viral with many viewers roundly condemning the action of the officer who has since been suspended.
TTPS public information officer Insp Michelle Lewis said the woman has made a formal report to the police.
The video sparked public outrage as the male officer, wearing only one half of a pair of slippers, manhandled the woman as he handcuffed her.
In that video, a woman is heard claiming the policeman failed to comply with the warden’s instructions.
In a longer, inaudible video, the traffic warden was seen instructing the man. He then came out of the car and a heated argument intensified.
Less than a minute into the argument, he attempted to arrest her. She pulled away. In his second attempt to restrain the warden, he pushed her back against his private SUV vehicle. Soon after he was able to get his handcuffs from the SUV’s backseat and placed it on her wrists.
When contacted for a comment on Tuesday, PCA director David West told Newsday, “While the investigation is ongoing, the PCA would reserve its comments so as not to prejudice the outcome of the TTPS investigation. However, I do believe that serious consideration of the TTPS’s Use of Force Policy would be instructive in this matter.
West added: “I can confirm that the PCA is aware of the video circulating on social media depicting the interaction between an off-duty police officer and a traffic warden on Monday, January 30.
“The PCA has taken a decision to actively monitor and audit the TTPS investigation into the incident having been made aware of the acting CoP swift suspension of the officer.”