Griffith defends decision to appear on Buju’s stage


(CNC3)Po­lice Com­mis­sion­er Gary Grif­fith yes­ter­day de­fend­ed his de­ci­sion to ap­pear on stage dur­ing Bu­ju Ban­ton’s “I am Leg­end Con­cert” stat­ing if he had not done so it would have re­sult­ed in a strained re­la­tion­ship be­tween T&T and Ja­maica.

Grif­fith’s com­ments came hours af­ter he was crit­i­cised on so­cial me­dia for ap­pear­ing at Ban­ton’s con­cert at the Queen’s Park Sa­van­nah, Port-of-Spain, stat­ing that he was just look­ing for fame and to score points.

Grif­fith, how­ev­er, in a What­sApp mes­sage to the me­dia on Mon­day, in­sist­ed that it was Ban­ton who re­quest­ed him on stage.

He crit­i­cised his de­trac­tors whom he de­scribed as im­ma­ture and ig­no­rant, in­sist­ing that he would not please in­di­vid­u­als who are jeal­ous or have tun­nel vi­sion, but rather those who are pa­tri­ot­ic, pos­sess hu­mil­i­ty and re­spon­si­bil­i­ty and would put coun­try first.

On Sat­ur­day, the Ja­maican’s reg­gae star room at the Hilton Trinidad room was searched by mem­bers of the Or­gan­ised Crime and In­tel­li­gence Unit (OCIU).

In re­sponse, Ban­ton ques­tioned the va­lid­i­ty of the search af­ter the po­lice left emp­ty-hand­ed.

This in­ci­dent, Grif­fith said “was set to cause a ma­jor rift be­tween our coun­try and Ja­maica. This was be­cause of a poor pro­ce­dure by the TTPS in the con­duct of the search. Hence the TTPS may have been di­rect­ly re­spon­si­ble for such a rift,” Grif­fith stat­ed.

Grif­fith has since an­nounced a ma­jor over­haul of the OCIU fol­low­ing the raid.

He said the of­fi­cers did not car­ry out prop­er sur­veil­lance be­fore act­ing.

Hours af­ter the in­ci­dent, Grif­fith met with the reg­gae singer where he apol­o­gised and gave the as­sur­ance that the re­main­der of Ban­ton’s vis­it will be peace­ful and in­ci­dent-free.

Dur­ing the con­cert, Grif­fith promised Ban­ton that T&T and Ja­maica would re­main “al­lies for­ev­er.”

Grif­fith al­so ad­vised those who were more con­cerned about na­tion­al pop­u­lar­i­ty to put their en­er­gies where it can be bet­ter val­ued.

“Had I not done this, re­la­tions be­tween both coun­tries could have been se­vere­ly af­fect­ed.

“Pos­si­ble boy­cotts of our prod­ucts and oth­er pri­vate sec­tor sanc­tions were al­so on the ta­ble. If oth­ers are not aware or care about this due to ego over com­mon sense, I can­not help that.”

If his ac­tions af­fect­ed some peo­ple but helped to bridge the gap be­tween the two Caribbean coun­tries, Grif­fith said he felt sor­ry for them.

“I did what was need­ed to be done. Not to please those who have noth­ing bet­ter to do oth­er than crit­i­cise due to their in­abil­i­ty to un­der­stand the big­ger pic­ture.

“If oth­ers are up­set, then they should re­port it to the en­ter­tain­ment po­lice.”

– Shaliza Hassanali. Photo by Edison Boodoosingh.

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    What has gone bad at a ‘…hotel room in the morning,’ could never come good in the ‘…evening on an entertainment stage.’

    When a Commissioner speaks about the ‘…operations of a Police Service he heads,’ he may not only have been ‘…Reckless Not To Know’ what his subordinates were doing, but also reporting his apparent lack of ‘…organizational command and control.’

    Such presence on stage, respectfully, reflects poor professional judgment and borders ‘…Administrative Stupidity.’

    • Me pompey I love you and appreciate you sound insite on the majority of matters. Howeverx you and I both know that the leader of a law enforcement agency is not always privaledge to all activities of the various departments he overseas. We know many corporals and seagents who engage in searches who do not require commisioner approval. In these incedences mistakes and assumptions are made. To curve the rogue nature in which some of his men operated he did the right thing. Without knowing what prompted the search, we can conclude the probable cause was not supported with evidence. Then, here is where disagree with you…Can a competent leader curve a situation by admitting error within his ranks? Yes, now his officers know, he will not support reckless, improper law enforcement. The culture of police officers supporting each other in wrong must change. Officers need to know that in doing their job they need to adhere to the law and procedures of the police force without voilating the rights of citizens and guess. Regardless, he needed to send a clear message that reckless enforcement of the law is not the norm nor will be tolerated. For it is better that a thousand guilty men go free than an innocent man be found guilty. Do no harm.

    • Mr. Pompey. Did you know when you were the Top Cop what the ONDCP was planning ahead of time? I’ll bet you not. They do their raids as a surprise to many. And that is how it suppose to be. The less people know the better. Buju has to live with his new reality as a convicted criminal. But police have every right to search him from time to time. And believe me I understand it can be very annoying. But those are the consequences of his action. I just hope and pray he stays out of the way of all the criminal elements.

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