Police Commissioner Gary Griffith has continued his criticism of some legislators, attorneys and activists after police shot and killed three men armed with assault rifles on Tuesday (Dec 31, 2019).
The men had earlier shot 10 people, including a woman who later died of her wounds, according to the police.
Griffith has been urging lawmakers to strengthen legislation that would deny bails to persons caught with illegal firearms for up to 120 days, but the Law Association of Trinidad and Tobago (LATT), some legislators and others have come out against the suggestion.
“Three shooters with three assault rifles. Spray an area in Port-of-Spain with over ten (10) citizens shot. And we have Senators, attorneys and activists demanding that such creatures should be given bail to be allowed to return to the streets to shoot and try to kill more law-abiding citizens. I would pray for these brilliant, God-fearing spokespersons for such elements,” Griffith wrote on the Facebook page of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS).
Police said that they had recovered the guns after engaging the men in a shootout near the Central Market on the outskirts of the capital Port-of-Spain. They said that the men, who were in a vehicle, had first fired several shots at passengers on a maxi taxi in the heart of the capital, wounding three passengers and six passers-by. Police said a woman identified as Lystra Rodriguez was pronounced dead at the Port of Spain General Hospital.
Meanwhile, Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi has come out in support of the Police Commissioner after the Law Association of Trinidad and Tobago in a statement said that the Bail Amendment Bill sacrifices key constitutional tenets by infringing the presumption of innocence, empowering the police to deprive people of liberty and breaching the doctrine of separation of powers, instead of tackling the root causes of crime.