Fri | Jul 10, 2020

Letter of the Day | Welsh a silly pawn in driving stunt circus

Published:Friday | August 23, 2019 | 12:00 AM


I have watched multiple times, with utter amazement, the interview with Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Bishop Dr Gary Welsh and Dennis Dietrih – the man purporting to be the driver seen in a now-infamous video that went viral recently.

For those who might not yet have seen the video, the driver is seen to be spinning his car around in the most insane manner on a public road, with other motorists around.

Among other things, ACP Welsh, who is the head of the Public Safety and Traffic Enforcement Branch of the Jamaica Constabulary Force, seems starstruck by the cameras and the motorist himself, referring to the alleged lawbreaker as a “celebrity”.

Having said that the motorist was guilty of “careless driving” while “endangering other members of the public”, ACP Welsh is guilty of gross dereliction of duty in not charging the driver despite the gravity of the breaches committed. If this is how the head of public safety and traffic enforcement acts, how, then, does he expect those subordinate to him to enforce the law when breaches are committed?

One is left to wonder if the driver involved was a poor man from the inner city and the car involved was an old taxi, if the goodly assistant commissioner would have been so lenient.

While the above is troubling enough, nothing is as concerning to me as when the ACP tells members of the press who are questioning the driver that he will not “allow them to ask him any questions which may incriminate himself”. At that point, is the ACP acting in the capacity of a law-enforcement officer who should want to hear evidence of past indiscretions on the road – which is what the question being asked was pertaining to – or was he serving as defence attorney?

Subsequent to the ACP’s farcical interview, additional video footage has surfaced appearing to show the actual driver of the vehicle to appear to be of far darker complexion than that the aforementioned Dietrih. One would respectfully suggest to ACP Welsh that he use his good office to thoroughly investigate this breach and charge all those responsible in accordance with the laws that he is sworn to enforce and uphold.

If Dietrih is indeed proven to have been impersonating the driver involved, as is now being alleged, it would be interesting to see how ACP Welsh responds to being an unwilling participant in a game in which he was unknowingly a simple and silly pawn.