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National Security Minister Gary Griffith yesterday applauded the work of the Inter-Agency Task Force, following a shoot-out between criminals and police on foot patrol in the Laventille area that left one man dead. “We have to fight fire with fire,” Griffith said. Griffith is currently in New York, but in a telephone interview with the Sunday Guardian, he said while he knew others disagreed with his approach, he encouraged officers to “return deadly force with deadly force.”
“It is a straight case, if people are trying to kill you, you have to reciprocate.” Griffith said he could not understand how people never knew which criminal killed someone in their community, but could describe whole scenes when the police were involved in a killing. “People conveniently could tell you exactly what happened when police protect themselves and return fire, but if a criminal shoots someone, suddenly no one knows who or what happened.
“The police service has my full support because I do see this as a war.” Griffith also encouraged police to arrest protesters. “You cannot stage an illegal protest because you feel the police did something that is illegal, and I am saying that that mindset needs to change. That has to stop.” Griffith said while some “editorialised” crime and gave lofty and often unrealistic ways to deal with crime, he knew what he had to do. “I am not negotiating with criminals.”