POLICE COMMISSIONER Gary Griffith is again assuring he will do all in his power to put down any plot to destabilise the country.
Griffith, in an eight minute, 23 second video address to the nation, insisted “evil elements” used protests this week over the police killing of three men to mask a plan to "burn and loot" businesses in Port of Spain, reminiscent of the 1990 attempted coup.
"There were all the ingredients shown to confirm the plot to destabilise the country, started by a few over the killing of three persons in Morvant on June 27, not for their constitutional right to lawfully protest, but as a cloak to justify the acts of violent crime, as they attempted to do. This gave the criminal elements the opportunity to join in the plan for mayhem and destruction by organising themselves to come into Port of Spain to burn and loot businesses.”
He criticised "pretentious opportunists" for pushing an agenda to pressure him to back off from his position to use necessary force to quell disturbances.
"I am the last person to retreat or surrender if it means loss of lives.”
Griffith said on Friday a group of men, including gang leaders, who were forming an alliance against the police were arrested.
“They could team up all they want, we are fully equipped, trained, and ready to take on any element that attempts to disrupt the country...”
He criticised those who felt he was too aggressive.
“There is a time when measured and lawful aggression is necessary. When unruly mobs walk through a city, to cause devastation, and injury, this is when such action is mandatory. To those who are offended by my aggressive character trait, let them know I have a country to defend, and I would do it to the best of my ability within the law. Had it not been for that character trait coming out to lead our officers into a virtual war zone, the country could still be under siege and looking similar to what we saw days after July 27, 1990. That character trait ensured that our nation was properly defended.”
Griffith said the police have learnt from their mistake in 1990 and are with technology and better communication and equipment.
As TT heads to a general election on August 10, he said the police will remain vigilant to “prevent any subversive element from attempting to affect our democracy.”