Police Commissioner Gary Griffith has told would be protestors in Trinidad and Tobago that they should forget about following the trend that has developed in several other Caribbean countries, where in recent days people have taken to the streets protesting against plans for mandatory coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccinations.
“In other islands in the Caribbean, we have actually seen the assassination of a President in Haiti recently, I can give the assurance to the country that the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) is well prepared for any eventuality.
“Presently we are in a state of emergency, we are actually in a curfew, but with or without that I can give you the assurance that I will use the broken window theory that whilst . . . I remain as Commissioner of Police, such situations will not be tolerated.”
Griffith said that while there will be a degree of flexibility “and yes we give people the right to protest, you do not have the right to break the law”.
“So if at any time we see anything remotely close to what we would have seen in other islands in the Caribbean I will deal with it immediately,” Griffith said on the i955.fm radio station.
Over the past few days, protestors have taken to the streets in St Vincent and the Grenadines, Barbados and Antigua and Barbuda against the vaccination policies of their respective government.
In Kingstown, Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves was hit on the head with an object and had to be flown to Barbados for further medical treatment. A 56-year-old woman has since been charged with wounding Gonsalves, who suffered a concussion as a result of the incident.
In Antigua and Barbuda, police used teargas to disperse the crowd on Sunday after indicating that the organisers had no permission to stage the event.
Griffith told radio listeners here that he is aware of a recent illegal demonstration that had taken place here, adding “we are presently investigating a situation of a similar protest that was done without the knowledge of the police.
“It was recorded and played afterwards and the individual decided to boast that he was the person who led this unlawful protest without the approval of the Commissioner of Police. That person, obviously we will find him and have a discussion with him because we intend to nip that in the bid immediately.”
Griffith said he intends to be harsh on such activities because “that would have caused the problem throughout the Caribbean”.
“I am not going to be flexible in any form or fashion. So the individual who has boasted that he has committed this act, by having an unlawful protest with several persons walking around with placards, hiding their faces. We wish to thank him for being bold enough to show his face and he will be pulled in for questioning,” the top cop said
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