Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith

Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith

Anyone with intent to shut down the country or disrupt the lives of law-abiding citizens will face the full might of the Police Service.

This was the warning from Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith yesterday during a press briefing at Police Administration Building in Port of Spain.

Since Tuesday, protesters have marched and clashed with police in Port of Spain and parts of the East-West Corridor.

These protests followed the police shootings of three men — Joel Jacob, Israel Clinton and Noel Diamond on Saturday following a confrontation with officers in Morvant.

Griffith said police had received intelligence on Monday that the protests would take place on Tuesday.

He said within two hours, there were 40 different situations on Tuesday.

“They knew where the debris was, they knew what was happening. This happened throughout the country,” Griffith said. “This was planned. This was very well-orchestrated. A few hours before this started, we were made aware what the intention was. It was very well planned by very senior individuals in the criminal enterprise. This was a criminal operation that failed.

“It is alleged that the violence that we saw (Tuesday), the catalyst was based on the unfortunate incident of the killing of three young men. We beg to differ. We believe this was an orchestrated attempt by individuals to use the opportunity to try to destabilise the country and use this as a front.”

Gangs unite

Griffith said police received intelligence that rival gangs had worked together to form a “truce” of sorts, to allow Tuesday’s protests to take place.

“It is quite possible. It is amazing that the vast majority of 538 murders last year were based on one group trying to kill others in the other group and what brings them together is ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend’. And if that is what two murderous gangs together, to try to form some sort of strategic alliance. It says a lot about the character of those individuals,” he said.

He once again asked where were the protests for other citizens who had been killed recently, including two-year-old Aniah Jaggernauth and PC Allen Moseley.

“What about PC Moseley? He is the forgotten soul in this whole situation...He was killed that same day but there was never a protest. Persons shooting at police officers, targeting police officers, trying to kill police officers and people see us as the enemy. It seems to be an orchestrated attack to peg back the Police Service because of what it is we are doing,” Griffith said.