Thu | Mar 30, 2023

Stunned by police action

Published:Friday | February 19, 2010 | 12:00 AM


AFTER LIVING in Jamaica for most of my long life, on only one occasion was I able to say something complimentary about the police, I suppose because I have been exposed to police officers in other jurisdictions, I have never accepted boorishness, crassness and belligerence as part and parcel of the thrust to "serve and protect".

The exception to which I referred above happened last year when I went to the Papine police station to report the death of a friend and was absolutely bowled over by the professionalism and politeness of the two cops on duty. So shocked was I that I felt forced to publicly comment on it several times. However, my latest encounter with two policemen on Ash Wednesday at 6:45 a.m., poignantly reminded me why I can never ever respect or trust those so-called officers of the law.

As arranged, I had picked up a young man in Barbican Square and was proceeding up Barbican Road when I saw a patrol car, which I had glimpsed earlier, on the other side of the road with its lights flashing. An officer made a gesture to me but I did not respond immediately as I couldn't believe that it was me they were trying to stop as I had done nothing. The car then came up behind me with siren blaring, so I stopped. Within seconds, a policeman was at the passenger window shouting to the young man beside me: "Why yu move from behind the steering wheel when yu si wi?" It was with total astonishment and shock that I asked him what on Earth he was talking about. He then shouted that he had seen me change places with the passenger and wanted to know why!

Shocked, we both denied that any such thing took place. He then told me to produce my driver's licence and I did.

He looked at the licence and as quickly as his surprise attack had been, so was his departure; at which point, I wrote down the licence number of the vehicle.

I am sending a copy of this letter with the licence number of the police car to the Police Complaints Division but of course would never hold my breath in the expectation that this matter would ever be investigated. All l can say to the public is, beware when stopped by any member of this totally out-of-control organisation.

I am, etc.,

Joan Williams