The Police Complaints Authority has formally told Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith tosuspend all 18 police officers who were present during the shooting deaths of Joel Jacobs, Israel Clinton and Noel Diamond in Morvant on June 27. This comes the day after Griffith put those who fired their guns on administrative duties.
In a media release on Monday, the PCA said its deputy director Michelle Solomon-Baksh had also briefed the Director of Public Prosecutions.
But in response shortly after, the police corporate communications unit issued a statement accusing the PCA of not operating in a professional manner. The police service said the PCA’s media release was issued even before the instruction reached Griffith’s desk.
“...the sensitive recommendations on the officers have been made public, so the said officers are made aware of the recommendations, not through the proper channel, but via the media release issued by the PCA, of actions recommended to be taken on them.
”This is not the appropriate manner to deal with such sensitive issues, by sending out a media release to the public, without the person required to action the recommendation, even getting the actual correspondence in his hands to do so.”
The police said Griffith subsequently received the PCA’s correspondence and would act accordingly after reviewing it.
However, it said he would not "make a public comment as it pertains to any decision made, on (sic) any police officer, without first informing said officers. This is now being done, and the public would be informed accordingly, but only after the officers are informed."
It said he CoP willinform the public of action taken by 9am on Tuesday.
Police killed Jacobs, Clinton and Diamond at Juman Drive, Morvant. A CCTV camera captured the incident.
The deaths of the three men and the subsequent release of the video footage on social media sparked protests and confrontations between police and residents of East Port of Spain last week.
The Law Association had also called on Griffith to suspend all the officers involved. He responded that that would be "illogical."