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Dear Editor: Where are the body cameras? Time to bell the CoP and his trigger happy cowboys

“[…] It has already been proven around the world that body cams work two ways: to protect the citizenry from false arrests, charges or death; and to protect the officers from false accusations. 

“Time and time again, when questioned about the absence of body cameras, the CoP—in his usual rambling, gas lighting, focus-shifting style—comes up with a myriad of excuses for the non-deployment of a device that is not only very important, but very common for law enforcement units globally. 

“It is quite obvious that Gary Griffith […] is in way over his head as a figurehead commissioner of police…”

Photo: Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith.
(via TTPS)

The following Letter to the Editor on the non-use of body cameras by local police officers and the leadership style of Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith was submitted anonymously by a poster under the pseudonym John Doe:

It is time to bell the cat, the commissioner of police, and his trigger happy cowboys! Once again, this citizen John is forced to hit the keys in utter disgust at what passes for ‘good policing’ and ‘cockroach eradication’ in my sweet little country. 

I saw yet another video of another young black male lying on the ground lifeless while the TTPS cowboys stood over him, accompanied by the usual screaming and bawling in the background from his friends and family. 

This is a common sight now in Trinidad and Tobago as, according to the saviour of T&T’s crime, the TTPS attempts to ‘get rid of the cockroaches amongst us’. 

As I always say, anyone stupid enough to challenge our police to a gun battle, may the best man win. But there was no weapon to be seen, in the video released to the public.

Photo: A TTPS exercise in inner-Port of Spain.
(via Newsday.co.tt)

Tell me where did the weapon come from that the TTPS proudly displayed on its Facebook page the next morning? Where are the body cameras to show us what really happens in incidents like this?

It has already been proven around the world that body cams work two ways: to protect the citizenry from false arrests, charges or death; and to protect the officers from false accusations. 

Time and time again, when questioned about the absence of body cameras, the CoP—in his usual rambling, gaslighting, focus-shifting style—comes up with a myriad of excuses for the non-deployment of a device that is not only very important, but very common for law enforcement units globally. 

It is quite obvious that Gary Griffith’s hands are tied way behind his back with zip-cuffs; and he is in way over his head as a figurehead commissioner of police. 

It is well known to all and sundry that GG was not the preferred choice of most officers, especially at senior level. All the big talk and loud barking about changing things and fixing this and that and getting the TTPS up to world class standard was just that: ‘ole talk’. 

Photo: National Security Minister Stuart Young (left) and Police Commissioner Gary Griffith wave to the crowd during the 2020 Carnival.
(Copyright TTPS)

GG has to jump on one foot like everyone else or suffer the same fate as former Commissioner of Police Dwayne Gibbs and his deputy Jack Ewatski, who left these shores with great haste after they realised the herculean effort it would take to change the way our police officers do business. 

GG went from ‘I will get rid of every corrupt officer in the TTPS’ to ‘I will do all in my power to protect my police officers’—even, it seems, the ones who appear to be slaughtering citizens daily without fear or favour. 

One would swear that it’s only one part of this country that is involved in drugs, as the TTPS appears to concentrate its attention in depressed communities only. 

But then no police squad can dare go west and exercise the same kind of aggressive behaviour that they use on the east-west corridor. No officer would dare draw his weapon at a child belonging to this country’s one percent, unless he wants to travel from Port of Spain to Toco for work every day.

I close by sending a warning to all citizens who jump and celebrate each time a citizen, young or old, is gunned down by the TTPS. 

Photo: Morvant resident Joel Jacobs, 37, (background) holds his hands up as does the driver in the car.
Both men along with a passenger were gunned down moments later by police officers on 27 June 2020.

It is widely known that the famous Tiida/‘wetman’, B12, B13 and, recently added to the list, the AD Wagon are the preferred cars of choice for the ‘cockroaches’. However, law-abiding citizens also drive those vehicles. 

I hope you never live to experience the day that your son or daughter goes out to lime in one of those cars and police mistakenly cut them down in a hail of bullets—because it looks like a vehicle that was just involved in a robbery.

Don’t be mad when your friends snicker when you try to explain that your son ‘wasn’t in nutten’ and ‘a good boy’, just as you did when some other ‘cockroach’ suffered the same fate.

There are no body cameras to prove you right. What doh meet yuh, eh pass yuh. Remember that when you celebrate another extra-judicial killing.

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Letters to the Editor
Want to share your thoughts with Wired868? Email us at editor@wired868.com. Please keep your letter between 300 to 600 words and be sure to read it over first for typos and punctuation. We don't publish anonymously unless there is a good reason, such as an obvious threat of harassment or job loss.

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