TUNAPUNA candidate for the United National Congress (UNC) David Nakhid has apologised for referring to the police as “the enemy” on Tuesday.
The apology came after Police Commissioner Gary Griffith publicly denounced the statement. On his Facebook page, Griffith Nakhid was “irresponsible,” especially since he can possibly become a minister of government and member of the National Security Council, which oversees the policies of the police service.
Griffith wrote: “In a social media post, Nakhid stated in part, 'For now the TTPS is the enemy but the memory of justice is long and unforgiving.'” Griffith said he expects leaders of political parties not to condone such behaviour from people who aspire to be in government.
In his apology, Nakhid said his statement, published on Wednesday, “came from a place of heartbreak.” He was commenting on the police killing of Joel Jacob, Noel Diamond and Israel Clinton on June 27 in Morvant.
Residents said the men were unjustly killed while police said they were attacked and defended themselves. A gun was allegedly recovered after the incident. For two days, residents of East Port of Spain protested, calling for justice. The matter is under investigation by the police and the Police Complaints Authority.
Nakhid wrote: “I do not believe the police are the enemy. I believe that now, more than ever, we must work together for a better TT. I wish to apologise to the honest, hard-working members of the TT Police Service (TTPS) all of whom I am sure were hurt and discouraged by the statement. Rest assured, I have confidence in the good men and women of the TTPS but it is also clear that we need to dialogue in order to engender peace and equity in our society.”
He said, while looking on at what happened, “some of these persons who are hurt and angry may see the police as the enemy” and that was the context in which he referred to police as the enemy.