Police Commissioner Gary Griffith is of the opinion that political leader of the New National Vision (NNV) Fuad Abu Bakr may have the right intentions but is targeting the wrong unit as the Police Service is not the enemy.
“Black lives do matter. Not one of our 9,000 plus police officers are white. Their lives matter too, so Abu Bakr should be supportive if these black lives in uniform protect themselves if fired upon,” Griffith said.
Griffith was responding to an ongoing social media rant by Abu Bakr since the US George Floyd incident where Bakr saw it fitting to post a comparative photograph of him (Griffith) watching over the lifeless body of Michael Thomas during a confrontation with police in 2019, with the death of Floyd.
Griffith said Bakr’s comment is in total contrast to what he (Griffith) have been doing, “whereby I continue to demand that officers charged for violent crime should be fired. However those who killed 500 plus black lives last year were not police officers. And when our officers confront those who have no respect for those lost black lives, they are confronted with similar gunfire. The target should be those who took those 500 plus lives last year. That is not the police. We put our lives on the line to protect black lives.”
On Thursday, in a Facebook post, Bakr said he “raised the issue on behalf of citizen’s whose houses are searched without warrants, who have been cursed by the police, abused and in instances killed by the police.”
Bakr noted that police abuse is an issue, “Internalised racism, racial profiling and prejudice are concerns. Exjudicial killings are a serious issue. Locally, we have one of the highest per capita rates for complaints against the police. The number of citizens, who you refer to as ‘criminals and cockroaches’, killed by the police is unacceptable and has drawn the attention of human rights agencies,” Bakr said in his post.
He added that he is on the side of the police, “guiding them to better service through constructive, brave criticism.”
“As many brave officers step out every day to discharge their duty, they should be encouraged in right actions. I praise the excellent officers who serve with pride. It’s nothing personal even though in my opinion you have personalised the police. I mean when you are gone, do we still call 684 GARY? Lord alone knows what we will do without you Double G.
The statistics show you have made phenomenal shifts in your ratings since the Peoples Partnership sank. But you know how these things are, ups and downs. Hero today zero tomorrow. Quite the opposite to the murder rate, only ups there. Nothing lasts forever, office is only for an appointed term. All the best for the rest of that short period.”
Reporter: Rhondor Dowlat-Rostant