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T&T security minister says protests 'carefully orchestrated'

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC) — National Security Minister Stuart Young yesterday described as “carefully orchestrated and pre-planned” the protests in the eastern part of the capital following the shooting deaths of three people by police over the weekend.

Young, speaking at a news conference, told reporters that two investigations, including one by the independent Police Complaints Authority, were under way as several businesses in the capital closed their doors when the violent protests, which began in Laventille and Beetham Estate, east of here, spread to other parts of the city.

A group of young men, all wearing bandanas and some with their hands in the air, marched along Independence Square in the capital, chanting protests against the police shootings over the weekend.

“I am demanding that the criminal elements who are using the opportunity – and one asks the question, who is it that is stirring up the criminal elements to use this opportunity as well,” Young said, adding “I understand peaceful protests, I understand people being emotionally upset about the incident that may have taken place on Saturday, but it has become very obvious, very quickly, as a result of human intelligence provided and other means of intelligence, that many of these incidents…shooting in particular, are being stirred by the criminal elements.”

Young said that the members of the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force are now assisting the police in maintaining law and order, reiterating his early questions as to who is benefiting from the disturbances.

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