Griffith's vex with the media...again

Police Commissioner Gary Griffith has criticised members of the media and "social media experts" who he says have been unfair to him.

Griffith took issue with the reporting by media and others, on his handling of the TV Jaagriti issue and his appearance at the Buju Banton concert.

At the end of the 25-minute address, Griffith closed the news briefing without fielding questions and when some journalists sought to get responses on some matter, he replied, "Ask Omatie Lyder" (Editor-in-Chief at the Express Newspaper).

He had earlier singled out Lyder and Paul Richards by name and referenced several others who he felt were not treating him fairly.

"I am here to do my job and I ask the country to do theirs and if the media, Miss Omatie Lyder and Paul Richards and others feel that the Commissioner of Police is being seen too much in the media...he loves the media...it is the media that contacts me," he said.

He continued: "I get over 50 calls a day from the media and now I am paying the price for being accessible to the media. So maybe I should Stephen Williams myself from now on. So from now on, if the media has nothing to do with me, you don't hear from me, I have no comment to make. Be careful for what you ask for because you might get just that."

His reference to "Stephen Williams myself", is a suggestion that the former acting police commissioner was not readily and easily accessible to the media.

Griffith defended the number of police officers that went to Radio Jaagriti as part of an inquiry into possible sedition committed in a recent broadcast led by the General Secretary of the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha, Sat Maharaj.

He said that different police officers are assigned to different roles and therefore, it's necessary to send teams that represent different units.

The Media Association came in for a tongue lashing, and the Trinidad and Tobago Publishers and Broadcasters Association, both of which called on the commissioner to explain the actions of the police at the TV Jaagriti visit.

Griffith told the media that the police do not operate on the policies of other organisations. 

'We do not work to the policies of MATT, Sat, hat or rat," he said.

"We were simply trying to ascertain if something went right or wrong," he added.

He criticised MATT for taking the words of just a "two individuals" before issuing a statement on the matter.

On the Buju Banton concert, Griffith made it clear that he was there to lead the police operation.

He said that with 25,000 people present and 300 police officers on duty, he wanted to be there to lead the team.

"I led the operation. I lead by example. That is my style. I lead by example," he said.

He said that persons criticising him for this, do not understand the role of the commissioner and do not understand true leadership.

"Social media has provided for anyone to be an expert in any field without getting the facts," he said.

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