A MAN who was interviewed by police at his home for hours, after he engaged in a social media tit-for-tat with Police Commissioner Gary Griffith, has been warned not to aggravate the top cop, as this could prove to be “problematic.”
Sangre Grande music producer Alan Brizan told Newsday he was still not sure why his interaction with the head of the police on social media would lead to such a warning.
Brizan confirmed that after his spat with Griffith, a party of officers from the Professional Standards Bureau (PSB) interviewed him for hours on his social media activity and knowledge of circumstances surrounding the kidnap and murder of Andre Bharatt – the subject of Brizan’s posts.
On Tuesday at about 3.59 pm, Brizan posted to social media that after two weeks of information on the disappearance of Bharatt, the only three facts established were: Bharatt is dead, two police-detained suspects were “brutally” killed and; “the TTPS all the way up to the commissioner of police were distorting all the facts of the case from day one.”
Brizan said minutes after he made that post, Griffith sent him a message. In the thread from Brizan’s post, Griffith responded: “Seems that you have some vital information regarding police officers compromising the investigation. Seeing that you have made a public comment like this then you should be more than willing to meet the PCA and the Police PSB to then submit a report to deal with these elements”
Brizan rebutted with his own post: “So did a police suspect fall off a chair and die? I hope you forgive my ignorance but that is a public statement which brings confusion in the minds of the public. We all believe that justice means a day in court for all citizens accused or not…”
Griffith added: “You said that they were 'brutally killed.' Thanks for your ability to reveal what you know, the TTPS’ PSB would contact you. We welcome all citizens to assist in removing rogue elements from the Police Service. I am sure that you would not be wasting police time.”
Brizan said he changed the last point in his post to read: “There are significant contradictions in the information volume concerning the facts of this case – thank you Gary Griffith for your contribution on this matter,” out of sensitivity to the commissioner’s feelings.
Minutes after changing the contents of the post, PSB officers called Brizan to arrange an interview.
A little over two hours after Brizan made his post, the officers were at his door. He said they interviewed him for three and a half hours.
Police also told him he may be visited by the Police Complaints Authority and other divisions of the police service for more interviews.
Brizan said he was later warned to not further aggravate the commissioner ,as this could prove problematic.
He added, “The comment I made was from public information. Even though I criticised the commissioner it was in no way defamatory. It would be good to have anyone describe to me the tort in my post.”
Griffith said on his Facebook page he called PSB because Brizan's posts were serious allegations.
"In the post the individual made certain statements accusing officers, including myself. These were serious allegations which must be investigated, as no one is above the law, including myself. I immediately contacted the PSB, and given the nature of the case involved, they acted with haste."
Griffith said the right to freedom of speech must be balanced with responsibility.