More than a week has passed since the video of a Minister's son planassing a man made news. TV6 was the first station to air it sometime late last week. And then for days things went quiet. At the beginning of this week it was revealed that after doing the police report, and getting a medical report done, Mr Wight, the victim in the video waited on police action. Up to this morning, no one knows what action has taken place, but we do have an assurance from the Trinidad and Tobago's Police Service frontman and fall guy that "the police are looking into it." What exactly does that mean?
We've all seen the video. Gregory Wight is clearly attacked in full view of bystanders by an overweight man who was driving a pick up. Minister of Education, Tim Goopeesingh has admitted it is his son. Yet more than a week since the event, and no real action has been taken by the police.
In an online conversation with the victim's wife she revealed that the medical they had insisted on to prove that MR Wight had been planassed had not been collected by the police as of Tuesday of this week gone. Further, when they asked whether the suspect had been questioned the police's response was that the officer who had to conduct the interrogation was in Tobago, and did they, the victims, have an address for the suspect to pass on to the police?
This is the kind of thing that would make anyone pack up and leave this place for many reasons. The Wights are citizens here, tax payers; they give back to society. It's only expected that the services our tax dollars support give back to us.
But we live in Trinidad and Tobago a place where policing is not a service, it is merely a force....and an unknowable one at that. Perhaps we need to stop calling them the Police Service and return to calling them the Police Force. Who are they protecting and serving? OR maybe the better question is what.
They have a video, showing the entire event. They know who the suspect is and how to find him....and yet an arrest is still to be made. Everyone knows it's because Shane Aleong is a minister's son. The government, through the Police Service is trying to deny this, exclaiming all over the papers that it won't be swept under the rug....well then prove it and arrest Shane so that charges can be laid. Of course with our luck his dad will delay the trial for ten years and then resurrect Section 34 to have him released.
Police laziness and incompetence is the main issue here, but it is being supported by a few other things that no one wants to discuss. Gregory Wight is seen as privileged because of his complexion and the socio-economic group he belongs. In pockets and corners on FB you had people of several other ethnicities saying, "I wasn't taking no talk from no white man, in this day and age. he mighta collect a slap from me doh, not ah planass."
It tells you something about the malaise here that after all this time, and all the assertions that we are a rainbow nation, and all "o" we is one; that one member of this country can't disagree with another member of this country and it not boil down to race. Wight's complaint about diesel fumes while eating his doubles became a "massa vs labourer" issue why? Because of deeply ingrained insecurities, maybe. And then you have people irresponsibly writing and saying that Wight called Aleong a "gutter coolie". Where's the evidence of that? I don't want to call anyone a liar, but the video doesn't support it, and until there is evidence that Aleong responded to a racist slur, what the entire world see is an overweight, unkempt young man pouring out his rage on an elderly gentleman.
The slowness of the police too may well be underpinned by this attitude of "white people must pay". I can see them now, grinning and laughing to themselves after Wight made the report. Ketching real kicks off the planass story.
I've been on the receiving end of the thing called police service here. I've been robbed several times and kind citizens have helped me retrieve my items. The last robbery occurred in the middle of the State of Emergency last year that was used as a crime solving tool. I was on the Avenue at 7pm, not a police officer or patrol in sight....because they had no patrol vehicles....and my Blackberry was stolen. I made a report, they sent me to the Cyber Crime Unit. When I got to where Cyber Crime was alleged to be housed I was told that they don't have a Cyber Crime Unit. I went home and using the software available to me located my phone. I told the police where the phone was located. they told me they couldn't go and retrieve it.
I hope to high heavens that Gregory Wight gets more satisfaction than I did from the force that is our Police Service.
De Vice Cyah Done!