As the controversy builds surrounding the intervention of Prime Minister Mia Mottley in a Good Friday incident involving police officers and the owner of The Cook Shop at Deacons Road, St Michael, the police chief is adamant he has nothing to say on the matter.
When Barbados TODAY reached out to Commissioner of Police Tyrone Griffith this morning for comment, this media house was told by his Staff Officer Acting Superintendent Sonia Boyce that the Prime Minister had already spoken and that Griffith won’t be making any statement.
“The commissioner has already said he is not commenting on that…The Prime Minister has spoken and that’s that,” Acting Superintendent Boyce declared.
When asked to whom had the commissioner said this, she would only add: “The commissioner has said he is not engaging in that conversation…The Prime Minister has already spoken.”
Barbados TODAY also contacted president of the Barbados Police Association (BPA) Mervin Grace to ascertain the association’s position regarding the perspective of the officers who went to The Cook Shop to stop Ashton from operating.
“Any defence of my people would have to be coming from the Commissioner of Police in relation to that particular matter because I had no complaints from the men at all. So that is a matter for the commissioner to deal with,” Grace stated.
PM Mottley has been coming under fire from some on social media, President of the Democratic Labour Party Verla De Peiza and Opposition Senator Caswell Franklyn, who have accused her of abusing her powers by intervening when she spoke to police officers who tried to shut down Ashton’s food event.
But Prime Minister Mottley has said it is “an issue of class and discrimination” which has blown up over the incident.
Clearing herself of any wrongdoing, Mottley said she believed the matter had been blown out of proportion simply because Ashton’s business is located at Deacon’s Road.
“I am surprised that nobody has asked how does this become a police matter. The bottom line is, were restaurants and cook shops and food stores allowed to be able to serve on Sundays and bank holidays?
She maintained that she had done nothing wrong by taking Ashton’s call and completely denied suggestions that she had undermined the operations of the Royal Barbados Police Force.
“And as it relates to the substantive issue; do we understand what separation of powers is? Where is the breach? What is the breach because nobody can identify it clearly because there was no breach of protocol and there was no breach of separation of powers,” the Government Leader said in response to those who claim she overstepped when she spoke to the officers who were carrying out their duties.
Both President of the Barbados Bar Association Rosalind Smith Millar and retired Deputy Commissioner of Police Bertie Hinds declined to “touch” the matter. ([email protected])