Police Commissioner Gary Griffith has lambasted the Law Association of Trinidad and Tobago (LATT) for disrespecting the Police Service.

He said without even having the “common courtesy” to reach out to him about their concerns about his “shoot-to-kill” policy, the Law Association penned a letter criticising it.

“Shame on you the Law Association. You should know better. Then you actually have the audacity to make a comment without speaking to other members of the Law Association. There are many attorneys that are fully supportive of this,” said.

Saying the crime industry was a multi-billion dollar industry, Griffith said his job was to put criminals in jail, while the job of “others” was to have criminals as their clients and try to get them out of jail.

“So they will have a totally different aspect and direction. So I will expect them not to have different view. But having said that, have respect and don’t disrespect the Police Service,” Griffith said.

He was addressing a crime symposium, hosted this morning by the Arima Business Association, at the Arima Town Hall.

Earlier this month, the Law Association said while Griffith was correct to say that it was the right of Police officers to use deadly force in self-defence when fired upon by members of the public, the “law does not bestow on police officers a blanket authorisation for a shoot to kill policy.”

LATT also questioned the use of the “shoot-to-kill” policy in the case of the shooting death of a man who was reportedly part of a group throwing bottles at Police officers.

“Why would you also make mention of a situation with glass bottles when a matter is undergoing investigation?” Griffith asked.

“And it shows the ignorance of persons who actually drafted that letter. Because if you crack a bottle and put it to someone’s neck and you (Police) have a firearm you have a right to use the firearm. So the ignorance of the persons in the Law Association is that they do not understand the minimum use of force policy,” he said.

“Mr. (Douglas) Mendes (LATT president), Mr. (Elena) Araujo (LATT secretary), please come to my office and I will educate you on minimum use of force. I know my place and I would not advise you about yours. You should know your place and do not advise the Police Service how to do their job,” he advised.


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