LETTER OF THE DAY - Cops out of control
THE EDITOR, Sir:
On Wednesday, May 2, 2012, I went into the taxi park in Half-Way Tree to take a taxi heading to Three Miles. When the taxi was full with the requisite three passengers, the taxi driver attempted to leave, but there was a policeman standing in the way. Other taxi drivers wanted that space, but the policeman was adamant that they would not get the space, and he told them to "go dung di road, unnu nah get it".
After looking at the taxi I was in, the cop asked the taxi driver if it was a hackney carriage or a route taxi (to my knowledge all taxis on the Three Miles to Half-Way Tree route are classified as hackney carriage) and said something else to the driver.
The cab driver started to drive out, and at this point the policeman hit the bonnet of the car and shouted, "Licence and registration, yuh deaf?" The taxi driver continued to drive the car.
Another policeman came by and attempted to open the door to take out the key, while the other cop proceeded to clutch his weapon (Some say he actually pulled the weapon, but I did not see that because I was appealing to the driver to stop).
At this point, the taxi driver sped off with us screaming and telling him to stop. He eventually said we should come out of the car on reaching the exit of the park, and by the time we got out, he sped off, and one of the young ladies fell in the road.
It was the mercy of God that the police did not open fire that night, because I know that I would have been shot (because innocent persons are normally victims in clashes between police and taxi operators).
When I look back at this incident, I see where I could have been like Vanessa Kirkland. Do the police have the right to pull their weapon in the open when no one is firing at them? Do we want these trigger-happy policemen to protect us? How many more persons will die because of the irrational actions of the police before something is done about them?
I am not saying that the taxi driver was right, but he was not disrespectful or threatening in any way to the police, and I do not think that that kind of behaviour from the police was warranted.