Wednesday, September 18, 2019

T&T Police Chief Unhurt After Collision During High Speed Chase

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Trinidad Guardian:-  Po­lice Com­mis­sion­er Gary Grif­fith was in­volved in a ve­hic­u­lar ac­ci­dent yes­ter­day, but luck­i­ly he suf­fered no in­juries.

Grif­fith’s of­fi­cial ve­hi­cle col­lid­ed with an­oth­er ve­hi­cle dri­ven by a civil­ian as his se­cu­ri­ty de­tail chased af­ter a dri­ver who had been dri­ving in a reck­less and dan­ger­ous man­ner.

So­cial me­dia users were first alert­ed about the in­ci­dent fol­low­ing a 50-sec­ond clip be­ing cir­cu­lat­ed via What­sApp.

Con­firm­ing he had not sus­tained any cuts or bruis­es in the ac­ci­dent which oc­curred around 1.30 pm in the vicin­i­ty of the T&T Yacht Club, Glen­coe, Grif­fith said his se­cu­ri­ty de­tail ob­served the dri­ver of a B13 Sen­tra “dri­ving in and out of the traf­fic, go­ing on to the shoul­der, and dri­ving above the speed lim­it”.

Pur­su­ing the ve­hi­cle which had been pro­ceed­ing in a west­er­ly di­rec­tion, Grif­fith said one of his ad­vance se­cu­ri­ty ve­hi­cles then turned on their siren and ac­ti­vat­ed the flash­ing blue lights in a bid to stop the dri­ver.

How­ev­er, “Whilst in pur­suit, they came in­to con­tact with an­oth­er ve­hi­cle, and then that ve­hi­cle ac­tu­al­ly spun out of con­trol and crashed in­to the ve­hi­cle I was in which was at a stand­still in the traf­fic. We weren’t mov­ing and it hit us.”

The of­fi­cers were un­able to ar­rest the reck­less dri­ver since they rushed to as­sist the civil­ian who was dri­ving the car which they crashed in­to.

Grif­fith said they had been re­view­ing video footage in an ef­fort to ob­tain in­for­ma­tion which would lead to the ar­rest of this mo­torist.

Ex­press­ing shock that the dri­ver who video­taped the in­ci­dent had done so whilst dri­ving, Grif­fith said, “The first thing you au­to­mat­i­cal­ly throw is a broad brush to be­lieve the po­lice were ac­tu­al­ly abus­ing their au­thor­i­ty. The in­di­vid­ual who was do­ing this video on so­cial me­dia was ac­tu­al­ly hold­ing his phone record­ing whilst dri­ving, but had the au­dac­i­ty to be speak­ing about ir­re­spon­si­ble dri­ving.

“It must not be said that every sin­gle time the po­lice are in­volved in an ac­ci­dent, it is au­to­mat­i­cal­ly be­lieved they are do­ing some­thing out­side of their au­thor­i­ty. We have the GPS sys­tems in all ve­hi­cles so we can mon­i­tor the speed the of­fi­cers are go­ing at and be­cause of that, this has great­ly re­duced the num­ber of po­lice ve­hi­cles be­ing in­volved in ac­ci­dents be­cause there is now a de­gree of ac­count­abil­i­ty.”

De­fend­ing his of­fi­cers, Grif­fith said there would be times when the of­fi­cers would need to go above the speed lim­it and em­ploy cer­tain mea­sures to de­tain a sus­pect or when re­spond­ing to a dis­tress call.

In a re­lease sev­er­al hours lat­er, the TTPS re­count­ed what Grif­fith had said ear­li­er.

The TTPS stat­ed that it would be con­duct­ing an in­ves­ti­ga­tion in­to the ac­ci­dent, as is re­quired in all Road Traf­fic Ac­ci­dents.

Mean­while, rel­a­tives of the civil­ian in­volved in the ac­ci­dent told CNC3 news that they are very dis­ap­point­ed with how the po­lice han­dled the vic­tim. He was iden­ti­fied as 27-year-old Sha­keel Forbes from Care­nage. When rel­a­tives con­tact­ed Guardian Me­dia short­ly be­fore 6 pm, they said Forbes was yet to be at­tend­ed to by a doc­tor at the St James health fa­cil­i­ty al­though he ar­rived there af­ter 1 pm.

They said the of­fi­cers at the scene of the ac­ci­dent showed no in­ter­est in tak­ing Forbes to the hos­pi­tal and were un­co­op­er­a­tive when they vis­it­ed him at the health cen­tre. The of­fi­cers said they will speak with Forbes af­ter he has seen by a doc­tor. Guardian Me­dia in­formed the po­lice com­mis­sion­er who promised to con­tact the fam­i­ly.

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