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A screenshot from a video circulating on social mediaof a man slapping a police office on George Street, Port-of-Spain.

Police officers will be equipped with pepper spray, tasers from Monday to deal with people who resist arrests and move to physically assault officers while they are executing their duties.

This was disclosed by Police Commissioner Gary Griffith on Tuesday during the police weekly media briefing.

Griffith referred to an incident in which police tried to detain migrants who were thought to be without documentation recently in Moruga and also on the video that went viral where a vendor slapped a police officer.

“These persons were breaking the law, they were being arrested and they tried to resist arrest. It’s something I intend to deal with. We cannot have police officers trying to restrain persons and they believe it is their right to retaliate. They can damage a police officer or they could damage themselves. With immediate effect, from Monday, every police officer is going to have pepper spray. Trust me, it’s not a nice feeling,” Griffith said.

“The pepper spray will be issued, there are also tasers that have been issued for hundreds of police officers. We must have a minimum use of force policy to ensure that officers will be protected without the use of a firearm,” he added.

He assured with the pepper sprays and tasers out, the use of firearms will be “last resort.”

Griffith also assured that every officer will be equipped with body cameras next year.