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Dear Editor: Questions for Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith on death of suspect

The following open letter to Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith about the death of  a suspect, Andrew Morris, while in police custody was submitted to Wired868 by Kirk Waithe, the political leader of the Nationwide Organisation of We the People (NOW) :

Photo: Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith.

Dear Commissioner Griffith,

1) Pathologist Professor Hubert Daisley in his autopsy report concluded that:

“Injuries to the skull which Andrew S Morris sustained are also fatal. He would have promptly gone into unconsciousness, aspirated and died. He could not have survived for more than 20 minutes with these multiple injuries.”

This is at complete odds with the police’s account of what happened at the Arima health facility. How do you reconcile that? Is the science wrong?

2). Where was Andrew Morris taken to when he was arrested and removed from his home on the morning of Sunday 31 January 2021?

3). Was any warrant(s) shown to Andrew Morris and/or any member of his household upon both the first visit on Sunday 31 January 2021 and the subsequent one paid to his residence later that same day, at which time his and other residences were searched?

Photo: Andrew ‘Solo’ Morris died on 1 February 2021, shortly after being arrested by the TTPS.
The TTPS did not announce his death until 3 February.

4). Are tasers legally available for the police to use in Trinidad and Tobago?

5). Do members of the Special Operations Response Team (SORT) presently use or have ever used a taser during attempts to subdue and/or interrogate any suspect?

6). How exactly do you define ‘next of kin’?

7). Mr Morris’ death was certified at 12.45am on Monday 1 February 2021.

No one in Mr Morris’ household was advised of his death until the Victim(s) Support Unit of the TTPS visited his home on Wednesday 3 February.

At a press conference on 4 February 2021, in response to a reporter’s question on the delay, you suggested the possibility that the ‘next of kin’ may have been notified in the interim. Who was that ‘next of kin’ and when exactly was he/she notified?

We ask because no family member, immediate or otherwise, knew of his death prior to the aforementioned visit to his home by the Victim(s) Support Unit of the TTPS.

Photo: Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith (right) joins officers on an exercise.

8) I am hopeful that officers who may have sustained injuries while arresting Mr Morris are recovering well. At that 4 February 2021 press conference, you indicated that acting Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Joanne Archie would provide an update on the injuries sustained and their recovery status.

How many officers sustained injuries? What were the injuries sustained? Where were said officers treated? If at a medical facility, where are those records?

9). Is it legal for police officers to wear masks covering their entire faces on police exercises without displaying/presenting any visible form(s) of identification?

10). If yes to question (9), what is that legal notice number, and when was it passed and gazetted?

Looking forward to your urgent attention and prompt responses on this matter of national importance.

Sincerely,

Kirk Waithe

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