A day after the island’s top cop issued a solemn pledge to rid this island’s streets of illegal guns, two “disturbing” photographs of six young men posing on social media with high powered pistols, as well as a video recording of a ZR crash, have grabbed the attention of police.
The first of two photographs, which have been making the rounds today on Facebook, as well as Whatsapp, shows four young men – three of whom are barefooted – posing with firearms. In the second photograph, a dreadlocked man is seen sitting on a bench with a silver pistol in his right hand and sticking up the middle finger on his left hand, while another person, who is partially hidden, also brandishes a firearm.
The worrying images have surfaced in the wake of an assurance given by Acting Commissioner of Police Tyrone Griffith yesterday that he would stop at no costs to rid the streets of illegal guns. Griffith’s declaration came in the wake of the discovery of four high-powered semi-automatic pistols in a consignment at the Bridgetown Port.
As a result of the find, 26-year-old Rico Antonio Greenidge of Free Hill, Black Rock, St Michael was detained last Friday after he attempted to clear the consignment, which also contained 1.8 kilogrammes of cannabis hidden in boxes of detergent.
Yesterday, Greenidge was remanded to HMP Dodds following his appearance in the District ‘A’ No. 1 Magistrate court where he was not required to plead to the indictable offences.
When contacted today, Public Relations Officer Acting Assistant Superintendent David Welch told Barbados TODAY he was surprised by news of the photographs, but described the development as “disturbing”.
“This is the first time I am being told about them.
“However, I will look into the matter to see what action needs to be taken . . . but certainly if what you are saying is true, this is quite disturbing,” he told Barbados TODAY.
Welch also disclosed that police had launched investigations into last Monday’s accident in which 16 students of the Daryll Jordan Secondary School were among 18 passengers on a ZR that overturned at Benthams, St Lucy.
The investigations follow the posting of a video on Facebook, which was allegedly taken moments before the vehicle crashed.
Barbados TODAY was unable to independent verify that the video was indeed of the February 2 crash and when contacted Principal of Daryll Jordan Stephen Jackman said he could not comment on the post. However, the 26-second clip clearly shows students of the St Lucy-based secondary school behaving in an unruly manner, shouting “bup bup bup” and “bap bap bap” to the sound of music, while egging on the driver, moments before the vehicle they were travelling in apparently overturned.
The video, shot by one of the passengers, ended abruptly in a crashing sound.
“We are aware of the video circulating. However, I cannot make a comment at this time as the accident is still under active investigation,” Welch told Barbados TODAY.
In the immediate aftermath of last week’s crash, one of the students admitted to feeling scared and being in shock but defended the ZR driver, saying, “He was just driving and this body pull in front of we and the man was trying to pull off and hit the embankment . . . He wasn’t driving fast, he was driving at the normal speed”.
While admitting that he had not yet seen the video, chairman of the Alliance of Owners of Public Service Vehicles Roy Raphael said he was aware of the development.
However, he lamented that while some reckless pubic service vehicle (PSV) operators were giving good PSV drivers a bad name, his organization was getting ready to award longstanding PSV drivers who had made an outstanding contribution.