Trinidad: Community leader accuses police of terrorizing his daughters

Trinidad: Community leader accuses police of terrorizing his daughters
Cedric “Burkie” Burke speaks to GML during an interview near his Sea Lots home after being released by police yesterday.

(TRINIDAD GUARDIAN) — Com­mu­ni­ty leader Cedric “Burkie” Burke yes­ter­day ap­pealed to po­lice of­fi­cers to re­spect women’s pri­va­cy when car­ry­ing out raids.

In a brief in­ter­view near his Sea Lots home short­ly af­ter he was re­leased from po­lice cus­tody yes­ter­day morn­ing, Burke claimed po­lice of­fi­cers act­ed in­ap­pro­pri­ate­ly to his fe­male rel­a­tives when they ar­rest­ed him and raid­ed two of his homes last week.

He said his four teenage daugh­ters and their moth­ers were asleep at both prop­er­ties when po­lice ar­rived. He said male po­lice of­fi­cers ig­nored pleas for the women to be al­lowed to get dressed be­fore they car­ried out their search­es. He claimed they re­fused and forced the women to ex­pose them­selves.

“They forced them to re­move the sheets from their bod­ies, which is in­ap­pro­pri­ate in any fo­rum. On top of that, they had them with guns point­ing at them,” Burke said.

He said that the of­fi­cers on­ly stopped when a se­nior of­fi­cer ar­rived on the scene and ques­tioned their treat­ment of the women.

“I think they should have been pre­pared be­cause they know where they were com­ing and who would be there. That is my con­cern,” he said.

He said there should have been fe­male of­fi­cers present to con­duct the in­ti­mate search­es.

‘FORCED TO EXPOSE THEIR BODIES’: Cedric “Burkie” Burke speaks to the Express at his Sea Lots home yesterday. — Photo: GYASI GONZALES

Burke did not seem con­cerned about how he was treat­ed by the po­lice over the past few days but said he was deeply trou­bled about what hap­pened to his rel­a­tives.

“My two daugh­ters are trau­ma­tised. To be 14 or 15-years-old and have to ex­pose your body to men point­ing guns at you, they are not ac­cus­tomed to that,” he said.

Burke said he be­lieved he was de­tained in con­nec­tion with a re­cent shoot­ing.

“Last night, they come to the sta­tion and say some­thing about a shoot­ing, but I don’t have an idea what they are talk­ing about,” he said.

He said he and his male rel­a­tives are ac­cus­tomed to be­ing con­front­ed by the po­lice but he felt his daugh­ters should not have to en­dure such treat­ment.

“I have al­ways been the tar­get of law en­force­ment through­out my life. That is not a wor­ry or prob­lem to me,” he said.


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