Griffith, Sturge exchange ‘shots’

Police Commissioner Gary Griffith
Police Commissioner Gary Griffith

“SHOTS” were fired yesterday at senator and attorney Wayne Sturge after he criticised Commissioner of Police Griffith’s “one shot one kill” policy. In a social media post which began circulating yesterday, Sturge was lambasted for his position and was even called, “Mr Purge”.

The person launching the social media counter-offensive was none other than Commissioner Griffith. “Be aware that there are mouth pieces of certain elements who have the audacity to come now and advise the police how to understand and use the minimum use of force policy,” Griffith said via social media post.

“Let Mr superman underwear focus on looking after those he defends I would look after the rights of my officers. Tell Mr Purge to give us a break,” Griffith added.

Speaking later with Newsday, Griffith said people should be wary of public figures who are against his stance. He alluded that these people having an agenda to defend the criminal elements.

“Obviously if they defend criminal elements, their job and agenda is to attack and discredit me and the police service at all costs,” Griffith said. “The day any of these individuals support me, I would be concerned. I expect criticism from these people and I look forward to it because it means that I am doing the job. Their job is to defend criminals and my job is to put them in jail.”

Attorney Wayne Sturge

Sturge criticised Griffith’s one shot-one kill policy, after a police officer shot dead a man in a bar, who allegedly threw bottles at the officer. According to reports, police responded to a disturbance near a bar in La Brea and when they arrived they were attacked by Kyle Thompson, who police said, threw bottles at them.

A police officer shot Thompson once in the upper body. He was later pronounced dead on arrival at the Point Fortin District Hospital. In a social media post, attorney Sturge advised police against, “taking chain up from a soldier turned politician turned PR Police.”

“One shot-one kill is not the law, if you have the luxury of time to aim and kill with one shot, the law may find that you are not under imminent threat and can use that same opportunity to take evasive action,” Sturge wrote.

If however you have no choice, Sturge continued, then by all means kill rather than be killed. “To those who say the law is an a**, you can always make that statement after that same a** has a sentence of death passed on you.”

Sturge yesterday told Newsday he has no intention to dictate the way the police operates, but wanted to state the settled law on self defence, as a citizen and attorney of 20 years vintage. He added that while he wishes Griffith would succeed in his fight against crime, Sturge said he reserves his right to say his piece and criticize when he sees it necessary.

“Gary Griffith is entitled to his opinion as am I but with someone who has no legal training and who has never had to deal with the law as it relates to self defence, he would do better to talk less and listen more,” Sturge said.

“Gary Griffith must understand that it doesn’t matter what the use of force policy states, if it is found to be inconsistent with the law as it stands. Policy doesn’t trump law! I have commented on the killings of the Rock City five and recently on the killing of a drunk bottle thrower.

“And not on any of the other police killings because the others on the face of it appear to be justifiable, so when it is ostensibly justifiable, I will reserve comment. When it is not, I reserve my right to say my piece,” Sturge said.


"Griffith, Sturge exchange ‘shots’"

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