Don’t fear video recordings, police told

Members of the Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF) are being urged not to fear the prospect of being recorded by the public while carrying out their duties.

In the wake of a video which went viral on social media, appearing to show a police officer mistreating a taxi driver and his passenger, Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite said the digital recording did not tell the full story.

In any event, he said, lawmen should welcome such recordings since the officers ought to be doing their job by the book at all times.

Last week’s stop and search by police ended in passenger Darius Kenrick Bowen’s arrest.

“First thing you only see part of the clip, you don’t see the complete video. So that’s why I don’t speculate, but that one I can comment on. You know the other guy keeping lots of noise about ‘don’t search my vehicle; you don’t have the right to search my vehicle’.  Now I will have to assume that if the police search a vehicle there must be some basis for the police officer to say, ‘well let us stop the vehicle’, but you don’t see that [in the video].”

“What I have said to the [Police] Commissioner and his team, ‘we need to train the officers to not be afraid of WhatsApp’. If you are doing your job like you are supposed to then the cell phone is actually your friend, the video is your friend. You need not be afraid of it.  Just do what they supposed to do,” Brathwaite told the media on the sidelines of a three-day anti-money laundering workshop at the Radisson Aquatica Hotel.

A taxi operator last week told Barbados TODAY that he was on his way to Ruby, St Philip recently when he was stopped by police just past Six Roads.

The episode which was posted on social media before being subsequently removed, showed the driver refusing to allow officers to search his vehicle, demanding to see a warrant before such a search could be conducted. 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.

Although reluctant to say whether or not he thought the officers involved had abused their authority, the Brathwaite made it clear that he saw little wrong in the manner in which the officers carried out the arrest on the passenger.

“This guy was saying to the police officer,  ‘don’t search me, take me to the station’.  Now a bit of common sense, would you put somebody behind you in your vehicle, without patting them down to see if they have a weapon? Would that make sense that a police officer cannot search someone but put him in the police vehicle? That doesn’t make sense,” Brathwaite stressed.

The Attorney General also urged the two men to lodge a complaint with the Police Complaint Authority (PCA) if they felt they were wronged by the lawmen.

He also cautioned the public against entertaining the notion of widespread police misuse of power, stating that most of the complaints received by the PCA trivial.

8 Responses to Don’t fear video recordings, police told

  1. Leroy May 23, 2017 at 4:53 am

    Is it not illegal to search a vehicle or someperson’s property with out a search warrant sign by a judge without probable cause. Attorney General Ariel Braithwaite please speak it as you see it the police was wrong that was a misuse of power. What reason was there for illegally searching the car and then the system remanded a man for using indecent language when others with far more serious crimes were given bail. You are a waste of tax payers money

    • HardBall May 23, 2017 at 6:21 am

      @Leroy, you are correct. One would think that he as the AG would try not to pull the covers over the citizens eyes.
      The taxi driver was with in his right to make them present a warrant to search his vehicle.

  2. HardBall May 23, 2017 at 6:22 am

    The AG talking a “bariffle” of crap. The RBPF will fear videos; because they know of all the wrong, they have done and are doing to the citizens of Barbados.
    The have been beating confessions out of people for years and will continue, because they know they will get away with it.
    The Police Complaints Authority is a JOKE, how can you get an honest review from the said police force about its members? Police bleed blue, so they will protect they own.

  3. DE May 23, 2017 at 7:44 am

    I think you all are getting confuse with searching a person’s home and a vehicle. Stop trying to think that you all know the law
    If the police come to search your home, they must have a search warrant, it must be presented to you for clarification and must be sign by the appropriate authority.
    If the police see a vehicle travelling on the road and it look suspicious of any illegal activities, the police have all the right to stop and pull over that vehicle and carry out a search if necessary in accordance with the law.

    • HardBall May 23, 2017 at 9:26 am

      @DE, you are the one that is confused. They can stop you yes, but they have to have a warrant to search your car.

      You, “Stop trying to think that you all know the law”

  4. DE May 23, 2017 at 10:28 am

    When they stop you tell them so. You need to ask someone to read the act for you.

  5. HardBall May 23, 2017 at 10:32 am

    Fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual

    Whereas every person in Barbados is entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual, that is to say, the right, whatever his race, place of origin, political opinions, color, creed or sex, but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest, to each and all of the following, namely –

    life, liberty and security of the person;
    protection for the privacy of his home and other property and from deprivation of property without compensation;
    the protection of the law; and
    freedom of conscience, of expression and of assembly and association.

    Know your rights bro.

  6. Dawn Rollins May 23, 2017 at 9:43 pm

    I have two separate video recordings of members of the RBPF being unprofessional & threatening after they realize they are being recorded. Yes, they have no need to fear being recorded if they are doing the right thing!


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