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Trinidad: Female cop in hot water over racist Facebook post

By Renuka Singh

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(TRINIDAD GUARDIAN) — A so­cial me­dia post deemed racist, which was made by a To­ba­go-based fe­male po­lice of­fi­cer, has been re­ferred to Com­mis­sion­er of Po­lice Gary Grif­fith.

In a brief in­ter­view yes­ter­day, Grif­fith con­firmed that he called the of­fi­cer and di­rect­ed her to meet with him on Mon­day.

The fe­male of­fi­cer yes­ter­day post­ed the com­ment: “Them peo­ple nasty boi wow..the (sic) re­al­ly say the best In­di­an is ah dead one yes..gosh boi dey greedy and nasty.”

Her com­ment was made on a sto­ry shared by To­ba­go re­porter Cas­san­dra Thomp­son-Forbes which de­tailed the loss of a busi­ness place in To­ba­go.

Al­though the com­ment was sub­se­quent­ly delet­ed by Thomp­son-Forbes, screen­shots of it were sent to the CoP by for­mer Unit­ed Na­tion­al Con­gress (UNC) min­is­ter and so­cial me­dia ac­tivist De­vant Ma­haraj.

“A po­lice of­fi­cer is a po­lice of­fi­cer in and out of uni­form and I in­tend to take de­ci­sive ac­tion against any­one whose ac­tions brings the po­lice ser­vice in­to dis­re­pute,” Grif­fith said yes­ter­day.

While Grif­fith re­fused to di­vulge any ac­tion that can be tak­en against the of­fi­cer, Guardian Me­dia was told that the CoP has the au­thor­i­ty to im­me­di­ate­ly dis­ci­pline any of­fi­cer through sus­pen­sion or dis­missal.

On the same thread, for­mer Jus­tice Min­is­ter Christlyn Moore al­so ques­tioned the of­fi­cer’s con­duct, ask­ing if the “po­lice ser­vice still has a code of con­duct? Does bring­ing the ser­vice in­to dis­re­pute still at­tract dis­missal?”

Just three days ago, High Court Judge Frank Seep­er­sad warned that so­cial me­dia posts can have se­ri­ous con­se­quences.

In an 18-page rul­ing on Wednes­day, Seep­er­sad warned so­cial me­dia users that they may be forced to pay for the things they say on so­cial me­dia. In his rul­ing then, Seep­er­sad said that far too of­ten, so­cial me­dia is used as a fo­rum “to en­gage in this type of ir­re­spon­si­ble and cru­el dis­course.” He said that it should not be al­lowed to con­tin­ue and said the court would “mould and ap­ply the com­mon law in a man­ner which gives some de­gree of pro­tec­tion to cit­i­zens.”

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