Add St. Lucia News Online on Whatsapp +1758 712 6700; get major headlines and source us with news tips, photos, and videos

Trinidad’s top cop defends decision to appear on Buju’s stage

By Shaliza Hassanali

 Share This On:

Police Commissioner Gary Griffith appears on stage with Jamaica reggae artiste Buju Banton at the I Am Legend concert at the Queen’s Park Savannah on Sunday. * EDISON BOODOOSINGH

(TRINIDAD GUARDIAN) — Po­lice Com­mis­sion­er Gary Grif­fith yes­ter­day de­fend­ed his de­ci­sion to ap­pear on stage dur­ing Bu­ju Ban­ton’s “I am Leg­end Con­cert” stat­ing if he had not done so it would have re­sult­ed in a strained re­la­tion­ship be­tween T&T and Ja­maica.

Grif­fith’s com­ments came hours af­ter he was crit­i­cised on so­cial me­dia for ap­pear­ing at Ban­ton’s con­cert at the Queen’s Park Sa­van­nah, Port-of-Spain, stat­ing that he was just look­ing for fame and to score points.

Grif­fith, how­ev­er, in a What­sApp mes­sage to the me­dia on Mon­day, in­sist­ed that it was Ban­ton who re­quest­ed him on stage.

He crit­i­cised his de­trac­tors whom he de­scribed as im­ma­ture and ig­no­rant, in­sist­ing that he would not please in­di­vid­u­als who are jeal­ous or have tun­nel vi­sion, but rather those who are pa­tri­ot­ic, pos­sess hu­mil­i­ty and re­spon­si­bil­i­ty and would put coun­try first.

On Sat­ur­day, the Ja­maican’s reg­gae star room at the Hilton Trinidad room was searched by mem­bers of the Or­gan­ised Crime and In­tel­li­gence Unit (OCIU).

In re­sponse, Ban­ton ques­tioned the va­lid­i­ty of the search af­ter the po­lice left emp­ty-hand­ed.

This in­ci­dent, Grif­fith said “was set to cause a ma­jor rift be­tween our coun­try and Ja­maica. This was be­cause of a poor pro­ce­dure by the TTPS in the con­duct of the search. Hence the TTPS may have been di­rect­ly re­spon­si­ble for such a rift,” Grif­fith stat­ed.

Grif­fith has since an­nounced a ma­jor over­haul of the OCIU fol­low­ing the raid.

He said the of­fi­cers did not car­ry out prop­er sur­veil­lance be­fore act­ing.

Hours af­ter the in­ci­dent, Grif­fith met with the reg­gae singer where he apol­o­gised and gave the as­sur­ance that the re­main­der of Ban­ton’s vis­it will be peace­ful and in­ci­dent-free.

Dur­ing the con­cert, Grif­fith promised Ban­ton that T&T and Ja­maica would re­main “al­lies for­ev­er.”

Grif­fith al­so ad­vised those who were more con­cerned about na­tion­al pop­u­lar­i­ty to put their en­er­gies where it can be bet­ter val­ued.

“Had I not done this, re­la­tions be­tween both coun­tries could have been se­vere­ly af­fect­ed.

“Pos­si­ble boy­cotts of our prod­ucts and oth­er pri­vate sec­tor sanc­tions were al­so on the ta­ble. If oth­ers are not aware or care about this due to ego over com­mon sense, I can­not help that.”

If his ac­tions af­fect­ed some peo­ple but helped to bridge the gap be­tween the two Caribbean coun­tries, Grif­fith said he felt sor­ry for them.

“I did what was need­ed to be done. Not to please those who have noth­ing bet­ter to do oth­er than crit­i­cise due to their in­abil­i­ty to un­der­stand the big­ger pic­ture.

“If oth­ers are up­set, then they should re­port it to the en­ter­tain­ment po­lice.”

This article was posted in its entirety as received by This media house does not correct any spelling or grammatical error within press releases and commentaries. The views expressed therein are not necessarily those of, its sponsors or advertisers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

For security, use of Google's reCAPTCHA service is required which is subject to the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

I agree to these terms.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.