PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, CMC – Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith said Wednesday that individuals involved in two social media posts, one of which speaks to burying a female political leader, are to be found and taken in for questioning.
He also issued a warning to citizens to be careful what they post on social media, especially when it comes to language that could incite violence during the campaign leading up to the December 2 local government elections.
Speaking at a Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) media briefing, Griffith said that he had received the reports about the online posts within a 24-hour period, and lawmen have now launched investigations.
“One involves an individual who just made a video, basically alluding to fact that he intends to bury a political leader in a grave and he intends to deal with her. Now we have to be very careful as to the comments that we make,” Griffith said.
“We feel like it is our democratic right is to say what we want and do what we want. That is not true….I am not going to condone in any form or fashion, any individual or any organization that may cause fear, undue panic, or make any threatening language or try to incite violence in any form or fashion during this election campaign.”
Griffith referred to Section 49 of the Summary Offences Act which states that any person making use of any insulting and annoying or violent language with intent to or which might tend to provoke any other person to commit a breach of the peace, is guilty of an offence and is liable to a fine of TT$200 (US$29.54) or a month in prison.
The second social media post under police investigation relates to a claim that certain officials had paid medical officers “big money” to inject citizens with the H1N1 virus (swine flu).
“Now this is tantamount to madness,” Commissioner Griffith said. “That individual…we are going to find her and we are also going to bring her in for questioning. This madness stops now….This is not a banana republic. No one has the right to say and do what they want if it affects the rights and safety of citizens. Definitely not on my watch.” – CMC