Gary Griffith

As the exchange of words between Police Commissioner Gary Griffith and political leader of the New National Vision (NNV) Fuad Abu Bakr heats up, the top cop has challenged Bakr to give his views pertaining to what happened in 1990, “or is it in his view that black lives did not matter.”

Griffith was responding to an ongoing social media rant by Bakr since the US George Floyd incident where Bakr saw it fitting to post a comparative photograph of him (Griffith) watching over the lifeless body of Michael Thomas during a confrontation with police in 2019, with the death of Floyd.

Griffith said Bakr is trying to make himself relevant by being involved in controversial issues.

“Fuad Abu Bakr is the first political leader that I can recall prior to an election, who is trying to make himself relevant by being involved in controversial issues than anything else…this varies from storming a screening in a political party and now, speaking about me knowing that the media will take it up.” Griffith said.

He added: “This seems to be his manifesto going into an election by him putting a photograph of me looking at an individual who blew the head off of one of my police officers and that same killer tries to do the same at other officers and was rightly neutralised with the same weapon he took from my officer’s possession. By Fuad Abu Bakr trying to compare that to what happened in Minneapolis showed ignorance at a higher level.”

Griffith reiterated that, “instead of trying to play constable Brown, ask him to give his views pertaining to what happened in 1990 or is it in his view that back lives did not matter.”

On Thursday, in a Facebook post, Bakr said he “raised the issue on behalf of citizen’s whose houses are searched without warrants, who have been cursed by the police, abused and in instances killed by the police.”

Bakr noted that police abuse is an issue, “Internalised racism, racial profiling and prejudice are concerns. Exjudicial killings are a serious issue. Locally, we have one of the highest per capita rates for complaints against the police. The number of citizens, who you refer to as ‘criminals and cockroaches’, killed by the police is unacceptable and has drawn the attention of human rights agencies,” Bakr said in his post.

He added that he is on the side of the police, “guiding them to better service through constructive, brave criticism.”

“As many brave officers step out every day to discharge their duty, they should be encouraged in right actions. I praise the excellent officers who serve with pride. It’s nothing personal even though in my opinion you have personalised the police. I mean when you are gone, do we still call 684-GARY? Lord alone knows what we will do without you Double G. The statistics show you have made phenomenal shifts in your ratings since the Peoples Partner ship sank. But you know how these things are, ups and downs. Hero today, zero tomorrow. Quite the opposite to the murder rate, only ups there. Nothing lasts forever, office is only for an appointed term. All the best for the rest of that short period.”