Police accused of bullying taxi driver and passenger

There will be no investigation into an allegation of police mistreatment of a taxi operator and his passenger if the aggrieved operator fails to file a written complaint against the law enforcement officers concerned.

Assistant Commissioner of Police Erwin Boyce told Barbados TODAY the Royal Barbados Police Force would not act unless there was an official protest to the Police Complaints Authority.

The taxi driver, who requested anonymity, said the officers had acted unprofessionally when they stopped him yesterday and demanded to search his vehicle.

The entire episode was filmed and posted to Facebook, but the video has since been removed from the social media site.

Boyce said if the driver felt his rights had been abused he should bring it to the attention of the proper authorities in the approved manner.

“If he believes the approach was an abuse of power, we can do the investigation for him. But he has to come into the office of the Police Complaints Authority and lay a statement in writing and report the matter for an investigation,” the senior police officer said.

The upset taxi operator, who yesterday came to the offices of Barbados TODAY to tell his story, said he was on his way to Ruby, St Philip yesterday afternoon when he was stopped by police while driving past Six Roads.

Curious as to why he had been stopped, he asked the officers for an explanation.

“I said, ‘what happen officer?’ He told me, ‘down all four windows, [I] cannot see in the back’. I rolled them down. He told me he was carrying out a search operation and I asked him why, because I did nothing wrong, I’m a decent guy. They said again they were searching the vehicle, [and] I said on what grounds?” the taxi operator explained.

He said the police refused to give a reason, insisting they were not obligated to do so.

Having not received an explanation, the driver refused to allow the search.

“I say, ‘well I would like a reason for the search. I was told you need to have a warrant to be searched’. He told me he wasn’t telling me what he was searching for. I told them, ‘no they can’t search it’. They said, ‘OK,’” he explained.

Not getting through to the taxi operator, the police officers turned their attention to the passenger, leading to an exchange that ended in the passenger’s arrest, the driver said.

As the episode unfolded the passenger became irritated because he needed to get to the bank, the taxi man said.

He said he attempted to pacify the passenger by telling him to beware of the lawmen “because the police look for any reason to charge you”.

“Quick so police open the door and took him out. From there they told him he smelt like marijuana, and ‘we have suspicions of marijuana’. The guy told them he doesn’t even smoke, so he told them they could take him along. They started to go in his boxers and he said let him go and he curse. So when he cursed they said, ‘yea, got you now. We are going to charge you for abusive language’. From there now, they put on the handcuffs and took him along,” the driver explained.

He stressed he had no difficulty with police doing their job, but they must be professional.

“All they had to do was say, ‘we are carrying out routine searches, we just want to know if there’s any illegal substances, etc, can you please allow us to search the vehicle?’ in a proper manner. Not bully a man to search his vehicle. The way in which they did it is what made him [the passenger] get on like that and what made me say no,” the irate taxi operator said.

He reminded the officers that they were here to serve, protect and reassure and not to be hostile to civilians.

“It’s not what you do, it’s how you do things. How they did it was very unprofessional. Because a man look young and just wearing a t-shirt and have on a chain you can’t just assume and think he’s a gangster. That was an abuse of power in my eye sight,” he added.

In encouraging the driver to report the issue, Boyce said police were allowed to stop and search vehicles at their discretion, but they should state the reason for the search.

“You can’t legislate procedure on the road. They speak to the person who is driving and they wave the level of suspicion as to why they are stopping the vehicle. If they are doing vehicle stops they let you know they are doing vehicle stops and they want to see your driver’s licence and insurance and road tax and so on. If there is suspicion that there is contraband in the vehicle and it’s enough to create suspicion, then they can ask the driver of the vehicle who is in charge of the vehicle, to permit a consented search and a search can be done,” the policeman explained.


31 Responses to Police accused of bullying taxi driver and passenger

  1. Jack May 18, 2017 at 11:02 pm

    Requested anonymity but the post the entire incident on fb. Yup, definitely brilliant.

  2. Mazakai May 18, 2017 at 11:06 pm

    Use and abuse of power because they could…. Wickedness in high places

  3. Alejuandro Tezu
    Alejuandro Tezu May 18, 2017 at 11:18 pm

    what’s the point?? Filing complaint to the Police Complaints Authority works as well as baptizing a cat -_-

  4. Jai Khan
    Jai Khan May 18, 2017 at 11:19 pm

    It is a pity that the video wasn’t as calm as this article

  5. Michelle Griffith
    Michelle Griffith May 18, 2017 at 11:25 pm

    “The taxi driver who requested anonymity” this is a joke right,because his ass was live streaming,so how now he don’t want to be known,everyone already knows him……Stupse
    He talks too much,that’s his problem.

  6. Katrina P Lewis
    Katrina P Lewis May 18, 2017 at 11:35 pm

    It is a total waste for someone file a complaint in Barbados. When you do this the first problem is that Barbados police investigate the police and that is so wrong. The lazy ass inspectors take between 3-5 years for a response.

  7. Katrina P Lewis
    Katrina P Lewis May 18, 2017 at 11:37 pm

    Did anybody speak to the cop who told the taxi guy (you know what you just do) that statement tells me that they have that man and his car marked and they will trouble him again

  8. Tamina Darkies
    Tamina Darkies May 18, 2017 at 11:46 pm

    Dis taxi man is a total ass he should have gotten charge to all d talk & noise & video taping,telling d police & ur passenger all dat bout rights yet still u talking to the paper & ain’t mek a complain to Complaints as yet,Stupsee.if l didn’t see dat video base from wat he saying now l would swear it was two different incidents. Still would like to kno who is ya daddy,lol

  9. Dennis Connell
    Dennis Connell May 18, 2017 at 11:50 pm

    So who is the taxi driver,s father?lolll..i heard that question asked by the taxi driver…lollll

  10. Mark My Word May 19, 2017 at 12:57 am

    Barbados slowly becoming a Police state

  11. Ronnie May 19, 2017 at 4:12 am

    Please i hear the taxi man asking the police if he know who he father was …. Who is he father? And as far as i know the police DONOT need a search warrant to check your car you dumb ass. And you all think that this is New York every sh** you all putting on Facebook the world seeing all ur foolishness

    • hcalndre May 19, 2017 at 8:54 pm

      @Ronnie, it do not have to be NY, but you must have a reason to search the man`s vehicle. Is it a crime to ask the officer if he knows who his father is? Do they need a warrant to search your home or do they just barge in, I hope you know that they could all be shot and the only charge would be using the gun if it was not licensed.

  12. Johnathan May 19, 2017 at 5:47 am

    There is nothing to complain about he was an ass and abused the police and the same taxi driver who made him feel like super man gone scotch free. My grandmother always say don’t follow idle company. He ass the right place in Dodds.

    • hcalndre May 19, 2017 at 9:05 pm

      @Johnathan: are you for real? a man put in jail because he cuss a cop and they`re people on bail walking about Barbados on murder charges, well, well, well.

  13. Carlos May 19, 2017 at 6:18 am

    In dodds well for what

  14. black man May 19, 2017 at 6:44 am

    People has right, and his constitution right has being violate and who police the police in Barbados, Barbados have a bunch of dumb police.

  15. carl May 19, 2017 at 7:54 am

    For the most part I can hear the anti-police sentiments coming out. I wonder who these people call when they feel violated. This is not a police state as some suggest but the police have their hands full as the criminals and their cohorts take over the place. Everyday someone’s being robbed or killed and these same people cry out for justice when they or their family are affected but get the best lawyer for them when they’re the offenders. They want a police state? They want police brutality? Let them go the great USA where black unarmed people are killed for nothing by police. Even the school children don’t have any respect for law and order. They go to school everydy to fight and when they find themselves in trouble with the law these same people defend them and refer to them as juveniles. They only know what is right when it suits them. Well guess what. The law doesn’t work like that. So when the idiot in the video asked if the police know who his father is, guess what? They don’t.

    • Evan May 19, 2017 at 6:55 pm

      Give the guy some latitude, he is trying to find his daddy. Next step a is DNA paternity test for him..lol

    • HardBall May 24, 2017 at 5:20 am

      @Carl, No need to wonder who they call when they are violated, that’s the police job, that’s what they signed up for. The police is not above the law, they are policies and procedures that the said police needs to follow. The police should not be breaking to law to catch a criminal, good police work would do that. They are crooked cops all over, how do you know which one is crooked? Some do whatever it takes to make a case.
      Have you or anyone ever wonder why is it that when you read a court case in Barbados, there is always a written confession?
      Think about it.

      Everything you say that happens in the “great USA” is happening here too.

  16. Black father did sense May 19, 2017 at 9:32 am

    Videos always start after the worst is dun cops had to have a reason for taking it so far because of laws he could have gotten away with 12 ak47 and 20 glocks in that trunk more bajan gine die now because ppl want to fight the law

  17. Biscuits May 19, 2017 at 10:39 am

    Chances are the police were tipped off about this vehicle. The searching of vehicles happens in many other countries. If you have nothing to hide…you have nothing to fear. We complain about the amount of guns and drugs in the island and now that the relevant authorities are attempting to address the problem…we complain.

  18. Alvin May 19, 2017 at 11:15 am

    If there is suspicion that there is contraband in the vehicle and it’s enough to create suspicion, then they can ask the driver of the vehicle who is in charge of the vehicle, to permit a consented search and a search can be done,” the policeman explained.

    If the driver or owner of a property does not give consent or permission to search and the police search the vehicle without a warrant, then that should be an illegal search.

  19. nanci May 19, 2017 at 11:42 am

    what if you let them search your vehicle and they plant something, and then charge you. When you go before the courts, the judge will believe the lying police. The police should be looking for the criminals that breaking in houses at night, not just stopping random cars. Most citizens wont get a lawyer, or have a board to complain too, you have to complain to the same agency that abuse your rights. Do you think the police will ever charge the police, they are all friends. Check that police that killed that guy, he is out on bail. His bail will live on and on. So in a way i could agree with the taxi guy, because maybe he think the police will then harass him, because they will know his name, address and car number. Most police love to know they have control over people, they love and enjoy that. They love to know people cringe at their presence. sadly all these small islands, the citizens have no help. The complaint will sit on their desk until it catches dust. Why not call the police commissioner if you dont want to file the complaint, but go to the office.

  20. nanci May 19, 2017 at 11:49 am

    carl, chances are the real criminals dont even get harass by the police, you just cant say you going to solve crimes like robbery, house break ins, by stopping random cars. The police need to follow up and go arrest the real criminals. Even if kids go to school and fight or stay home from school, and just out looking for trouble. The police need to go get these criminals. I agree lots of young kids get kick out of school, and hang around all day, and cause trouble. The police need to get those people, but stopping random cars wont solve the problem. I bed if the police see a nice expensive car, with passengers and driver dress nice, or white they wont stop those cars, so why stop a car where someone look like they doing drugs. Thats discriminating against your own people. I know a few people where their children commit crimes, but the parents or families know lawyers or people in high places, and before you know it, the family member thats a criminal is walking the streets laughing in your face, because he didnt pay for his crimes, so if the police gonna clean up the streets from crimes, clean up all the streets, and get the real criminals.

    • Bajan May 19, 2017 at 1:15 pm

      Nanci you watched the video? It’s obvious you don’t know who the taxi man or his passenger are cause you talking bout Police need to find the real criminals. You lost. The Police and anybody in BIM who knows what is happening on the streets and in the underground should know those two men too. This was no random vehicle stop. Hear he keep saying he ain’t got nutten in de car? Cause he always got something in the car or he does be transporting certain people who always carries certain pieces of equipment and certain stuff on them. Police know exactly who they were dealing with but they were too late in finding the stuff.

  21. jrsmith May 19, 2017 at 1:09 pm

    All this stupid talk having a search warrant to search a car and all the other clap trap against the police in Barbados……Bajans visit and live in (Canada) ( USA) and the (UK) tell them to try all this stupidness they going on with..they dare wouldn’t do it ……….
    In the (UK) police stop you and search your car done, you behave yourself or else you will be arrested, if they dont find anything in your car which is against the law , you go… ……..

    The trouble in barbados , we have a society where everything is directed and plays out as (black on black ) thats why nothing is equally enforced by the police, and as like everything else is unequal thats why we are , where we are….. look at (DODDS ) view the faces , look at the guns view the users , look at the drug….. all only black on black as only black people commit crime in barbados…………….

  22. Kevin May 19, 2017 at 1:16 pm

    I would have let the police search and moved on. Simple.

  23. Damien Cummins May 19, 2017 at 2:58 pm

    If you feel anybody here should be in dodds other than those officers and think that police do no wrong. I hope you keep on your blinders when it’s your turn. And that magistrate that remand him just as wicked.

  24. johnno May 26, 2017 at 6:20 pm

    You people that say they need a warrant to search the car must read the laws of Barbados specifically the police act chapter 167 of the laws of barbados and the magistrates act court act chapter 116 which deals with the rights in relation to searching. 2. Put ur self in the police shows if ur at work doing your job u wont want someone telling u how to do your job disrespecting u and behind it asking if u know who their father or mother is . He is not God. Simple . u all are antipolice thats the bottom line and when u go places like the uk usa and canada u give full cpmpliance. Even as close as trinidad a friend of mine was studying there there was a crime in sangre grande there was a highway stop check he was late for an exam and got frustrated . the police ask him whats the matter he stupz and them burst his mouth with a cuff and arrested him . this country has some of the nicest police officers you would find world wide and the fact the force is accredit says alot. I know other places that driver would be in prison with his passesnger.further more if those police read the acts which govern how they should do their duties they would have arrested him for obstruction . malicious communication and the passesnger for assault and abusive language towards an offficer. And points to note most crimes are prevented and detected in traffic stops do your research.

    • Hardball May 28, 2017 at 10:13 am

      @Johnno, are you a cop??
      Barbados has a very corrupt police force, nicest police officers what.

      Its obvious if you a re a visitor to a county you don’t have the same rights as a citizen, so yes you should cooperate with law enforcement.
      You friend should have gotten a lawyer.

      This might be true, ” And points to note most crimes are prevented and detected in traffic stops do your research.”
      but you need probable cause.


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