Thursday 9 July, 2020

8 times Trinidad Top Cop made us laugh in 2019 

Being the Commissioner of Police is no laughing matter in Trinidad and Tobago. Even so, while in the post, Gary Griffith has been able to pull a chuckle from a lot of the most tension filled times this year. 

While fighting tooth and nail to maintain law and order and to implement much needed changes in the TTPS, Gary Griffith never lost his sense of humour. 

We’ve compiled a list of 8 times, Commissioner Griffith broke the ice in 2019. 

  1. Gary vs Hema Ramkissoon 

The Commissioner took issue with the media’s decision to interview alleged gang leader Cedric Burke, after he claimed that police entered his home and scared his daughters. CNC3’s host of the Morning Brew, Hema Ramkissoon, did her best to keep the Commissioner calm. 


2. Gary walks like a champion 

When reggae icon, Buju Banton was let out of prison in 2018, music lovers all over the world were ecstatic. Fast forward to April, when Buju was set to grace the stage at the Queens Park Savannah. Buju says he was sitting in his hotel room when police stormed in and performed a search. They found nothing, but head police in charge, Gary Griffith, found a way to mend fences. He even took to the stage during Buju’s performance! 


3. Gary, Sat, TATT and MATT 

When police officers executed a warrant on suspicion of sedition at the premises of Radio Jaagriti earlier this year, late leader of the station, Sat Maharaj, claimed that the police officers stormed in and were hostile to staff. The Media Association of Trinidad and Tobago quickly ran to their defense in what they saw as an afront to free speech. Maharaj, who was alleged to have made disparaging comments about Tobagonians, claimed that the government sent both the police and the Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago to scare him. The Commissioner didn’t take too kindly to the allegations. 


4. Ask Omatie 

In the same media conference, the Commissioner also took aim at the Trinidad Express. The paper allegedly published an article regarding the above incident but claimed that it was a raid instead of an executed warrant. Enflamed by his continuing impasse with the paper, Griffith told everyone why he wouldn’t be accepting questions. 


5.‘Allyuh too wicked!’ 

One of the Commissioner’s goals for 2019 was to meet with as many business chambers and local government bodies as possible. He also had a goal to tackle errant protesters. The two collided when he gave an impression of the nation’s most famous protester. (video via Trinidad Express)


6. Too many Avengers movies 

After a police-involved shootout in Carenage claimed the life of a 16-year-old girl, residents in the area claimed they were brutalised by police. When one reporter asked Griffith whether there was another way the situation could have been quelled, he gave us one of the most viral moments in 2019. 


7. Everyone’s an expert 

In October, the nation woke up to astonishing news that mentally ill and older people were being held in unsanitary and unsavoury conditions at a rehabilitation centre in Arouca. Commissioner Griffith labeled the situation human trafficking, which raised many an eyebrow. In a media conference to explain the intricacies of human trafficking, Griffith poked fun at his critics. 


8. I’m batman! 

In media conferences, Gary Griffith has referenced some of the best movies in Hollywood. He’s referenced, the Matrix, Avengers and Taken. But, just as the clock on 2019 was about to run out, in his final press conference of the year, Commissioner of Police, Gary Griffith gave us one last gem. Early on, in an ode to The Knight’s Tale, he said, "You have been weighed, measured and found wanting.” However, the one we’ll remember is the quote he used to close the show. 


Gary Griffith has a mammoth task on his hands. With a murder rate that refuses to slow down, increasing public pressure and a constant onslaught of criticism, he has one of the hardest jobs in the country. Despite keeping pressure on criminal elements in and out of the police service and tackling it all with a heavy hand, it seems he at least takes some light moments to watch a few movies and to have a few laughs. 

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