CoP: An Opposition leader referring to Police Officers as Monsters, but not a word about criminal elements
Commissioner of Police, Gary Griffith says he is not surprised, nor moved, by the now incessant attacks both against himself and the TTPS in the conduct of their duties.
CoP Griffith states, ‘We have become quite familiar with the abuse, attacks, and disdain demonstrated toward the men and women of the TTPS, and being the leader of the organization, I am fully aware, the proverbial guns will be trained at me. I am, and have always been prepared for this.’ CoP Griffith states, ‘…whilst I expect these sustained criticisms, what I will not do, is to accept condemnation of the men and women of the TTPS without due process. What is completely hypocritical is that many of these same persons calling for ‘due process,’ including the likes of Senator Nakhid and now the Leader of the Opposition, are the very same ones, acting as judge and jury against the TTPS…without the said due process.’
Senator Nakhid, has on numerous occasions verbalized his open disdain toward both the TTPS as well as the Commissioner of Police. These sustained condemnations are now being supported by the Leader of the Opposition. CoP Griffith continues, ‘I have stated that an investigation will be undertaken into the matters raised. What I have noted, is neither, Senator Nakhid, nor the Opposition Leader, even once, has sought any information on the wellbeing of any of the TTPS Officers involved in the matter. I have stated openly that a few were injured, however, it appears that the lives of our officers matter less to the Opposition Leader and her Senators. This is not surprising to me when you consider their maintained position on the Bail Amendment Bill and Anti-Gang Legislation, amongst other legislative tools that they have purposively acted against.’ Griffith continued, ‘My position as Commissioner of Police is an apolitical one, however, one cannot deny this Opposition's thread of non-support in the past, from refusal to support legislation that is critical towards protecting law abiding citizens, to non-responsiveness to the national calls for tougher laws to increase the safety of citizens. At a time where the nation is clamoring for more stringent legislation to aid the TTPS, the Opposition hosts political meetings to encourage support for weakened legislation granting easier access to bail.'
Commissioner Griffith recalls that the Opposition Leader is trained in matters of the law, and as such, found the support of the Opposition Senator’s condemnation of the TTPS before the completion of the probe, which to him is quite disturbing. Griffith states, ‘…it seems due process only applies to suspects in a criminal matter, and not to members of the TTPS. It is increasingly disquieting, that the Opposition Leader and her appointed Senator, seek to ride the small tide of sentiment against the TTPS, rather than use the opportunity to reinforce caution and calm to await an independent probe, rather than cast aspersions and seek to ascribe members of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service as ‘Monsters’.’
Griffith states, ‘As the Police Commissioner if we were to talk about Monsters, I would refer to those who say it is now legal and appropriate to be a gang member, whereby criminal leaders can now easily recruit young men to be in gang, that can lead to their death. That is a Monster.
“I see a Monster as those who utilize their votes in Parliament, to say that it is appropriate that persons held with assault rifles, with specific intent to kill, be granted easy access to bail, whereby they return to the streets to target witnesses or commit further acts of violence to law-abiding citizens. Those are Monsters.
I see a Monster being those who negotiate with criminal elements and grant them massive State contracts whereby they use this profit to purchase more weapons, drugs and hire more young men to be gang members that escalate violence in this country, to the point that a Senior Counsel was also killed. Those are Monsters.’
Additionally, CoP Griffith states ‘what I find rather interesting is the Opposition Senator’s call, on behalf of the Opposition, for my resignation, based on what is perceived action by two or three officers out of over 8,000, and a matter which is still under investigation. Thus, based on the Opposition’s premise, the said Opposition Leader should perhaps also have resigned based on the numerous matters relating to her organization’s past incursions with the law, more recently an Opposition Senator who was even charged.
The Commissioner of Police is fully aware that there are some who would be the mouthpiece and fight for the rights of criminals over the rights of law-abiding citizens, and those who do not want change, who at times are the mouthpieces for the criminal elements, who do not want to see this as a safe society because of their own agendas, but this would not deter him from doing what is right and lawful to ensure the safety of citizens in this nation.
The CoP would advise Senator Nakhid that unlike some who chose Bahrain over Trinidad and Tobago in our World Cup 2006 campaign, his [CoP Griffith] only focus and singular support will always be for Trinidad and Tobago.
February 16th, 2021