Trinidad: Cop resigns over offensive social media post

Quit: WPC Avril Alleyne

(Trinidad Express) Woman special reserve police constable Avril Alleyne has tendered her letter of resignation, with immediate effect, to the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS).

Alleyne, who was last attached to the Tobago Division, was the subject of an incident earlier this month when she allegedly posted offensive comments on social media.

According to a news release from the TTPS, following the issue ­being made public, Alleyne was summoned to a meeting with Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith to discuss her conduct. On February 11, she tendered her resignation letter.

In the release, the Police Service said “all police officers are duty-­bound to be respectful and to protect and serve with pride”.

Gary Griffith

However, the quick decision of the former SRP has led many to wonder if she had made this decision on her own accord, or if she had been influenced to ­resign.

Speaking to the Express yesterday, president of the TTPS Social and Welfare Association Insp Michael Seales emphasised he had no evi­dence to support this, but he noted the timing of the resignation was curious. “The ­association has been made aware of the news, and the concerns raised by its membership following the publication of Miss Alleyne’s resignation.

“So we too find it all very coincidental and it would be remiss of us not to listen to our membership, and question if there may have been hidden hands which may have led to her resignation. But until we speak to her ourselves, we will take the release at its word,” Seales said.

He said he was hope­ful the association would have gotten an opportunity to speak to Alleyne and mediate on her behalf with the office of the commissioner of police.

“Let me state flatly that the association was aware of the statements made by the individual, and is in no way or manner in support of any contributions of racism.

“That should not be tolerated, as we understand the potential that such inflammatory comments can have among the ranks of the TTPS itself, as well as among the citizenry.

‘Victimised?’

“However, we believe that while there should be repercussions, we are not convinced that the firing or the resigning of the individual would have been the best route.

“In fact, persons close to the individual would have reached out to the association on her behalf, prior to her resignation, and raised concern that they suspect she may be victimised without a proper disciplinary process. So it is a shame that we were not able to intervene in this instance,” Seales said.

Alleyne had allegedly post­ed a com­ment on a social media platform, under the story of a ­Tobago reporter, following the loss of a business place.

The post had been screen-shot and sent to the commissioner by for­mer Unit­ed Nation­al Con­gress min­is­ter and so­cial me­dia ac­tivist De­vant Ma­haraj, among others.

Griffith had said he would be looking into the incident himself.

“A po­lice of­fi­cer is a po­lice of­fi­cer in and out of uni­form, and I in­tend to take de­ci­sive ac­tion against any­one whose ac­tions bring the Po­lice Ser­vice in­to dis­re­pute,” Grif­fith said at the time.

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