Griffith questions focus of media association

Police Commissioner Gary Griffith has deemed statements made by the Media Association of Trinidad and Tobago (MATT) as “unfortunate”, saying its executive seems to be more “concerned with protecting sources” than the lives of citizens.

In a news release issued yesterday following one issued by MATT, Griffith was critical of the organisation’s statement and the views expressed by its president, Dr Sheila Rampersad. The MATT release on the seizure of the phone of UNC activist Devant Maharaj was signed by the MATT executive.

The police release stated: “The MATT hierarchy seems more concerned with protecting sources rather than protecting thousands of persons; in this case children, teachers and parents whose safety could have been at risk when someone sent bomb threats to five secondary schools across Trinidad on May 24, 2019.

“The CoP says the MATT president seems to be speaking for herself as he is sure all of the right-thinking journalists agree that when it comes to possible threats and acts of terrorism, no right-thinking journalist would talk about source protection, as these same journalists and reporters have children and they would wish that the TTPS does all in its power to target and bring perpetrators to justice and not hide possible suspects under a source protection policy.”

The release stated that the T&T Police Service (TTPS) was duty bound to protect the lives of all, and in this regard, Griffith believed that instead of criticising the TTPS for doing its investigation, MATT should have “been more responsible” and worked with the organisation.

The release noted that everyone was entitled to their opinion. However, it questioned why MATT didn’t meet with the TTPS on this issue.