Shadow Attorney General Dale Marshall wants the full force of the law to come down on a man accused of assaulting Commissioner of Police Tyrone Griffith last weekend.
Marshall said the alleged assault on Saturday by Dewayne Carlo Griffith, 39, of Crab Hill, St Lucy was a sign that respect for law and order had reached an all-time low.
And he called on the courts to make an example of Griffith if he is found guilty of the charge.
“I hope that the matter is dealt with quickly because it is important to send a signal to those individuals in Barbados who feel that they can disrespect authority. We need to say to them that we are not accepting that type of disrespect and we need to show zero tolerance at this kind of behaviour. If the individual is found to be innocent then he goes on his way, but if he is guilty then justice must be seen to be done,” Marshall told Barbados TODAY this morning at the Eric Holder Complex in St Joseph, following a presentation of tablets to students by the Aron & Cristina Foundation.
The commissioner was reportedly speaking to a man last Saturday about lawlessness when the St Lucy man intervened and supposedly assaulted him.
The accused has also been charged with obstruction and resisting arrest, but pleaded not guilty to all three charges when he appeared before Magistrate Ian Weekes on Monday in the District ‘D’ Magistrate’s Court. He was remanded to HMP Dodds in St Philip.
Marshall, a former attorney general, contended that the incident could possibly give the criminal element in society the impression that police officers were no longer off limits.
This, he said, was far from the level of respect accorded to law enforcement officials in the past.
“It is perhaps the worst signal that we could see happening today when a commissioner of police, the most senior law enforcement officer in Barbados could be assaulted by anybody.
“If a constable is on the beat and something happens you could almost understand that there is bound to be some tension or some challenge. But when we now find that a senior law officer is subject to a battering, it is telling that a lot of the structures that we put in our society have failed,” the Member of Parliament for St Joseph lamented.
Despite coming to the police chief’s defence, Marshall also questioned why the country’s top cop felt it necessary to personally deal with the disturbance when there was a police station in the area.
“I am concerned about a lot of things. I can’t speak about the incident but there are several things that are troubling. It is concerning that the Commissioner of Police should have found himself in a position to be reporting to deal with any kind of disturbance. Not that a police officer at the top or bottom should not be interacting, but it is troubling that at that time of the night that a Commissioner of Police needs to feel that he has to come out and fill a breach where you have a station nearby,” he said.