COMMISSIONER of Police Gary Griffith says the relatives of people who are killed by the police are not judge and jury over what occurred.
He was speaking Sunday at the inaugural Converge! event held at the Commissioner's Residence, St James.
Yesterday morning a man was shot and killed by police in San Raphael and his family have disputed the police account of the incident. Griffith told the media he would not speak on any matters other than the event but he did comment generally on police shootings.
"And I let the public know – this is a war going on out there. Thousands of weapons out there. Hundreds of individuals who have the type of sophisticated firearms that you will see in a war scenario. And when the police officers go out there you can't fight a war without at times having to defend yourselves."
He continued: "What I find unfortunate every time there is a situation where police officers shoot at someone the media will automatically find the family members to immediately say that the police officers were wrong. So the family members have become judge and jury at all times without the proper investigation taking place? But when hundreds of gang members kill other young men no one in the community sees anything. People only see when a police officer shoot someone.
"And I am not in any way saying I am here to defend any police officer based on wrongdoing. But let us not be judge and jury every single time a police officer is involved in an exchange of gunfire the media automatically finds the family member who somehow is always there when something takes place."