(Trinidad Guardian) Power 102.1FM talk show host Garth Christopher has been pulled off the air over “offensive comments” he allegedly made towards Police Commissioner Gary Griffith in relation to the recent police killing of five Laventille youths.
The incident occurred on Monday during his “Break the Cycle” show. Christopher, who was simultaneously broadcasting the content via Facebook live, had gone on what was described as an emotional rant over the police killings of Kadeem Phillip-Williams, 17, Shakeem Francois, 15, Nicholas Barker, Mechack “Nitro” Douglas, 24 and Seandell “Crash” St Clair when the incident occurred.
Halfway through his rant, Christopher’s microphone was cut and an unseen person is heard telling him, “The bossman say I have to take you off the air.”
Christopher is then heard asking the person the reason given for his removal, but was only told, “He say yuh can’t talk them things on air.”
A visibly upset Christopher shouted, “Gary Griffith call or Rowley call and say to take me off the air?”
He subsequently complied with the instruction to exit the studio, but not before he told viewers, “That’s why I said this is a ****hole country. Them ‘fellas’ pandering to politicians and the one per cent. It has no freedom of speech anymore.”
Contacted for comment on Christopher’s removal from the airwave during his show, station CEO Paul Richards said, “Company policy dictates we do not comment on issues related to staff and internal company matters.”
But a station source confirmed to Guardian Media that Christopher had been taken off air for the use of “offensive” language which he had previously been cautioned on and for accusing Griffith of “sanctioning and celebrating” the murders of the five young men by his officers.
Asked if Christopher was being temporarily removed, the source said he was not likely to be put back on air because he had been warned on previous occasions.
Messages sent to Christopher received no response. However, on his recently created Facebook page, titled “The Break Free Movement,” he posted on Tuesday, “All I am trying to do, is warn my fellow countrymen and women against believing the lie and embracing the deception that says: “the best approach to solve our runaway murder rate and criminal activities, is to kill black male teenagers and young men from disadvantaged disorganised stigmatised PNM communities by the handfuls.”