Two police officers and two soldiers, who allegedly forced two homeless men to consume alcohol and perform an exercise routine on camera, are expected to appear in court in September to answer criminal charges.
Guardian Media understands that the four law enforcement officers were granted station bail by a Justice of the Peace after being charged with misbehaviour in public office and common assault, last Friday.
The group, which included police officers Anthony Alert and Kadeem Cadiz and soldiers Kevin Rawlins and Dane Williams, together with their attorneys, was scheduled to appear before a magistrate via video conferencing from the Besson Street Police Station, yesterday morning. However, the case had to be automatically adjourned to September 16.
Guardian Media was told that there some issues with the filing and transferring of documents, required for their court appearance, which led to the adjournment.
In an interview with Guardian Media last week, one of the victims, Malcolm Salvary said that while he was happy that there were consequences for their actions, he had pity on them as they would now have to be suspended pending the outcome of the case.
“I feel bad about it but there is nothing I can do because I went through my pain too,” Salvary said.
Salvary explained that on the night of March 28, he and his friend Moses Phillip collected a meal and were walking towards the empty lot at George Street in Port-of-Spain where they seek refuge at night when they were stopped by the officers.
Salvary claimed that he became fearful because of rumours of officers abusing persons found wandering at night during public health regulations for the COVID-19 pandemic and acted instinctively.
“I drop to the ground and lie down on the ground because I did not want to get advantage,” Salvary said.
He claimed that the officers threatened to arrest and fine them for allegedly breaching the regulations but gave them the option to consume the high proof alcohol, do sets of push-ups, and race their vehicle on foot. They complied.
Salvary explained that his compliance caused him to vomit and defecate blood for several days following the encounter.
The law enforcement officers were represented by attorney Richard Clarke-Wills.