AN investigation into allegations that Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith choked and threatened to kill a Cocorite man cannot start, as the Police Complaints Authority (PCA) is not properly constituted.
Contacted yesterday, PCA deputy director Michelle Solomon-Baksh said, “I am unable to initiate an investigation because the authority is not fully constituted and until a director is appointed.
“The PCA is not going to be able to initiate any investigation, since as I mentioned, we are not constituted as an authority, and I will be unable to make a decision at this stage until the second half of the authority is constituted.
“We have our work set out for us. We have used case management and we have been using it since 2017, for the scheduling of our work, as much as we would like to progress, we would like to have a director so that our work can continue.
“We have been cleaning up our backlog and making a lot of progress with that and we would not like the non-appointment of a director to derail all of the progress we have made.”
A source told the Express the tenure of David West, who held the post of director, ended on November 7 and the Government has agreed to extend his contract. However, the Opposition is yet to address the issue of West’s re-appointment, the source said.
Should the issue not be resolved, then the president can step in and make a decision, the source said.
Station diary seized
Head of the Police Service Commission Bliss Seepersad, when contacted yesterday for a comment, said due to her physical location she was unable to comment on the allegations.
The Sunday Express reported yesterday that Cocorite resident Cecil Skeete had filed a police report alleging Griffith choked him and threatened to kill him.
The report was filed in June at the Four Roads Police Station, where the incident is alleged to have happened while Skeete was detained and in custody for questioning. The entry lodged in the diary at the police station alleges Griffith placed a gun to Skeete’s head, stating: “I could kill you and say to my men that you try to take my gun.”
The Sunday Express understands officers attached to the Special Operations Response Team (SORT) were present during the alleged incident.
Additionally, the Station Diary Day Duty, in which the complaint was recorded by a police officer on duty at the time, was seized and remains unaccounted for.
Officers who were on duty at Four Roads Police Station during the incident have since been transferred out of the Western Division.
Prior to the diary being seized, a picture was taken of the entry.