“The CoP has also made it pellucidly clear that his statement was not a licence to kill unarmed perpetrators or perpetrators, who do not pose an imminent threat and are armed with lethal weapons… How much clearer can the CoP be?”
The following Letter to the Editor regarding criticism of Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith’s ‘one shot, one kill’ remark in dealing with potential threats to officers was submitted by Louis Winston Williams of Maharaj Trace, St Augustine:
There is an old adage that: ‘common sense is not so common’. ‘Common sense make before book’ is another old saying.
Against this background, what has gone wrong with some in the the intelligentsia in T&T? The man in the street is light years ahead of them.
I am appalled by the recent invective—by some in the intelligentsia—stemming from the Commissioner of Police’s ‘one shot, one kill’ statement and his accompanying comments. The CoP’s statement, caveat, and other comments on this matter, appear to me and the vast majority of law abiding citizens to be axiomatic (self evident/unquestionable).
As I understand it, the CoP is warning prospective perpetrators that if they shoot at the police with a firearm—or for that matter use other lethal weapons—the police will shoot back and their target practice training requires them to shoot at the head and/or chest, which is very likely to result in the death of the perpetrators, given that those are very sensitive areas of the human anatomy.
Policemen are trained marksmen who are economical in the use of their ammunition, and have deadly aim. The CoP has made it clear that, in such circumstances, the perpetrators would have placed the police in a position where the response time is in nanoseconds, and any delay could result in death or serious injury to the officer concerned, other officers or innocent by-standers.
Furthermore, the popular notion that perpetrators ought to be shot in their arms or legs could also result in such perpetrators firing back at the police, with disastrous consequences for the police and by-standers.[…] The CoP has also made it pellucidly clear that his statement was not a licence to kill unarmed perpetrators or perpetrators who do not pose an imminent threat and are armed with lethal weapons. He stressed that any officer using excessive force will face the full brunt of the law, and they are aware of their role and functions based on their training.
The CoP was simply using the opportunity to educate the public on this matter, including the dispelling of myths—such as shoot them in the foot. Incidentally, it should be noted that firearms are not the only objects that are potential lethal weapons. The CoP also dealt with this issue.[…] The CoP has also been a strong advocate for the introduction of non-lethal weapons, such as pepper spray and tasers, for the use by the police. How much clearer can the CoP be?
In this context, I have heard some absurd comments by some in the intelligentsia, a few of which are stated below:
- the CoP needs a communications expert to help him craft his statements/responses on this matter, as they are rude, very confusing and certainly not clear;
- the CoP seems eager to kill people;
- the CoP should be reported to the Police Service Commission for responding to his critics (an obvious bullying tactic… He should politely accept criticism from his ‘betters’ and ought not to question the affiliations/interests/competence, etc of his critics);
- it is a free country and, therefore, it is the democratic right of the intelligentsia to criticise the CoP’s statements (presumably, the CoP does not enjoy the same democratic rights to respond to their criticisms, as he is some kind of slave/subservient creature/lackey);
- the CoP is wasting time responding to his critics, and should be utilising that time in crime fighting strategies, tactics, activities, etc (no cognisance is taken to the effect that a lack of response to such unwarranted criticisms would have on morale within the TTPS, and the psyche/perception of the general public, who might form the opinion that the criticisms of the CoP are valid and that is why he has failed to respond);
- trigger happy police will use the CoP’s statement as a ‘blanket authorisation’ to shoot to kill, perhaps, even unarmed perpetrators (that some police officers are so ‘dotish’, illiterate, poorly trained, poorly supervised, and lacking in leadership, that they will go on a killing spree).
Thankfully, however, the CoP and Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley are not on that list. It is also quite obvious that the CoP’s statement has been taken completely out of context.
Do I need to ask, why?