Swift justice does not mean swift revenge.
United National Congress (UNC) Senator David Nakhid said that Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith must resign over the allegations that the two men who died in police custody were badly beaten.
Hours after Nakhid posted a video on social media questioning the deaths and the subsequent report that one of the men detained for the murder of Andrea Bharrat was beaten for 45 minutes, Griffth posted a media release asking why Nakhid was constantly attacking the police service.
In his media release, the Commissioner also questioned whether Nakhid’s views were that of the entire Opposition.
Griffith said that Nakhid was spreading misinformation.
“His post was utter rubbish and verbal gymnastics,” Nakhid said in a telephone interview.
The Senator said that the Commissioner “cannot intimidate” him.
“He should do the right thing,” Nakhid said.
“When our Opposition leader said that swift justice should prevail, it does not mean swift revenge it does not mean swift injustice,” Nakhid said.
Nakhid said that the people held for questioning should be interrogated, but not beaten to death as subsequent reports stated.
Days after Bharrat was kidnapped, the police held five men, two- Andrew Morris and Joel Balcon died after interrogation.
A private autopsy done on Morris showed he died of blunt force trauma and was badly beaten. A media investigation described a video which showed that Morris was beaten for 45 minutes while proclaiming his innocence. According to reports, Morris rented the vehicle to the man who was detained for Bharrat’s kidnapping and murder.
In his media statement, the CoP said that neither he, not the TTPS ever said that the suspect “fell off a chair and died”.
However, according to the TTPS media release after Morris’ death, the TTPS on February 4 said that while being attended to at the hospital, Morris who was seated on a chair, fell over and had to be assisted. He later went to another room to give a urine sample and again fell and had to be assisted. The TTPS said that Morris fell three times and later died.
“(Griffith) did not say whether a proper investigation was done around these circumstances. He did not say anything else,” Nakhid said.
“If the Commissioner of Police would like to tell the nation what manual, what police manual where that is allowed, we would like to know. We are fully behind the good officers of the Police Service but if we have a Commissioner of Police, who instead of following proper protocol in finding out and prosecuting a case instead of going behind people who post on Facebook,” Nakhid said.
Nakhid said that the Commissioner tries to intimidate people who criticise him on social media.
“This is not an attack on the police service,” he said.
“This is a scrutiny and we should hold these people to account,” he said.
In the media post, Griffith said that Nakhid had already “adjudicated” the alleged police killings and found the police officers guilty.
“It is not ironic, it is downright hypocritical because I have made my statements and so has the Law Association and so has the Roman Catholic Church based on what the Express wrote based on video footage of the beating of a man who you don’t know if he’s guilty or not,” Nakhid said.
Nakhid said that if Griffith is unable to withstand that scrutiny and must respond to everyone on social media, then he is not “fit for purpose”.
“Let him find a job that suits those qualities but not Commissioner of Police,” Nakhid said.