Thursday, February 22, 2018

Minister awaiting probe on cousins’ death

On allegations of police brutality in the killing of two teenage cousins, Hakeem Alexander and Tevin Alexander, National Security Minister Gary Griffith said yesterday the matter was still being investigated and any allegations were premature.

Furthermore, he said the Police Complaints Authority (PCA) was very professional and would do their job in investigating such claims.

“Bearing that in mind, what I do not want is for the police to feel intimidated or to second-guess (the reaction) when they have to make a decision to draw their firearm.

“It is the role and function of the police officer to draw his/her firearm if and when required—that is to protect the lives of citizens and/or the life of the police officer. If they continue to be pressured and to second-guess the officer may put his life at risk,” he said.

Griffith said whenever the criminals shoot someone, nobody sees but whenever the police shoot, everybody seems to know. He said while the public should speak up if they witness something, he was appealing to people not to paint police killings with a broad brush of brutality.

He said there seemed to be no public concern and sympathy for the number of police officers who have been killed or shot. He stressed he did not condone the use of excessive force, but if the criminals are shooting at police, they (the police) are left with no choice but to return fire.