Director of the Police Complaints Authority (PCA) David West is maintaining that the Authority did nothing wrong when it made a recommendation to Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith to suspend officers involved in the fatal shooting of three men in Morvant on June 27.
Speaking with the Express yesterday, West said the PCA acted within its powers under Section 21 of the PCA Act.
Under Section 21 (D) of the Act, the organisation has the power to advise the Police Service and other public authorities on ways in which police corruption and serious police misconduct may be eliminated.
“We acted within our remit. We did nothing wrong,” West said.
West, who is also a senior attorney, noted that this was not the first time that recommendations of suspension had been made by the PCA.
He declined comment on Griffith’s statements in a press briefing earlier this week where he criticised the PCA for issuing a press release on the recommendation before he could speak to his officers.
On Wednesday, Griffith announced that seven officers who fired their weapons in the fatal shooting of Joel Jacobs, Israel Moses Clinton and Noel Diamond in Morvant would be placed on administrative leave.
The Express was later informed that this leave will last for at least three months, pending the status of the enquiry.
Eleven other officers who were at the scene of this shooting have been placed on desk duty.
Griffith insisted that the PCA had not submitted to the Police Service any evidence for their recommendations, which he found was “curious”.
“I could have bowed to public pressure, listen to the PCA release and thrown the officers under the bus, and suspend the officers and nobody could blame me. But an action like that is the same reason why 2,000 years later no one named their son Pontius (Pilate). I will not sit down and have anyone thrown under the bus, have them taken virtually to the gallows then say it wasn’t me. I am not a weak leader and I am indeed made of sterner stuff.
“I am here to defend those under my command who are being targeted and if or when evidence is brought to my attention I will act decisively. But I will not act to quench the thirst for those looking for blue blood,” Griffith said.