Monday 28 September, 2020

Commissioner on Bayside pool party: It’s a sticky situation

Commissioner of Police, Gary Griffith.

Commissioner of Police, Gary Griffith.

Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith is defending his officers' decision to let party-goers in a gated community go without charge, despite them flouting the COVID-19 regulations.

As images and videos of a pool party allegedly held within a gated community surfaced on social media, Griffith shared his two cents on the matter at his weekly press conference today.

Responding to whether the partygoers in this incident were given special treatment since they were simply let off with a warning, Griffith said it’s not the first time he or his officers has done that. 

“There was a certain Gary Griffith that, there were 27 persons that I held in Sea Lots and I warned them and all of them were let go and that was not a problem then. Just about a month and a half ago there were 17 persons swimming at the bay next to Bayside from Sea Lots, from Carenage, from St James and none of them were arrested and that was not an issue. Now, the same thing that took place in Sea Lots and next to Bayside is done here, but that becomes an issue,” he said. 

Meanwhile, he said there’s some clarity that needs to be sought on what defines a private and public space. Bayside Towers, while it is a private, gated housing community, can allow visitors to enjoy its facilities like the pool area.

But Griffith said there are grey areas to the rules.

The commissioner said regardless of the issue, he has no problem holding the community to account once a law was broken. 

As it relates to other incidents, even where people were warned and let go, recordings of their events and those who attended were uploaded to social media by police officers. Asked why this wasn't done on this occasion, Griffith said he refused to be judged on this point. 

According to the Trinidad Express, the people gathered at the pool party were warned numerous times before they dispersed.

Griffith assured that the incident is still being investigated. 

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