One police officer has been suspended and another has resigned amid investigations into posts they made on social media.
Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith revealed yesterday that one officer was suspended for allegedly making a suggestion that there be another insurrection and another resigned after a social media post showed him using obscene language while on duty.
In a statement yesterday, the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) stated that police constable Brad Lee Lum was suspended following an investigation into his breach of the TTPS regulations. The officer, who has seven years of service, was last assigned to the CID-Anti-Kidnapping Unit.
The TTPS said on Saturday (June 19), Lee Lum made a post on social media, “in the nature of a personal comment on matters of public expression of a political nature, contrary to Regulation 138 (1) of the Police Service Regulations, 2007.”
The Commissioner said the officer was suspended because he cannot condone the irresponsible behaviour of the officer, who alluded that it was time for an insurrection in his social media post.
The Commissioner added, “Having served this country during the violent 1990 insurrection and having seen the damage done to our country and our democracy, he was appalled that an officer would even hint that insurgents should overthrow the Government.”
Commissioner Griffith stated that once someone joins the Police Service, they lose certain liberties regarding freedom of speech.
He added that the TTPS expects strict adherence to the regulations and recalled that another officer was recently suspended and remains on suspension because he appeared on the front page of a daily newspaper openly endorsing a political party and showing party affiliation, contrary to said regulations.
Commissioner Griffith said, “TTPS will not tolerate officers who show political partisanship and make comments against the State.”
Meanwhile, Griffith also accepted the resignation of a Special Reserve Police (SRP) Officer PC Francis.
The TTPS said a social media post was brought to the attention of the Commissioner of Police on Saturday June 19, which showed a video with the voice of an officer commenting on long lines at a service station in Cunupia and using obscene language.
The service station is located 100 feet away from the Cunupia Police Station.
The TTPS said an investigation was launched which led to the identification of the vehicle in which the officer was sitting and pinpoint the location of the service station.
Griffith, in the statement, added that this type of misconduct by police officers will not be tolerated within the service and will be dealt with swiftly.
He said, “All police officers of the TTPS will be held to the highest standards of professionalism, discipline, and integrity as expected of them by the public and the Service.”
Investigations into the incident involving PC Francis are still ongoing.