Feb 17, 2016 News
“…they scared the hell out of my wife and four-year-old daughter with their approach.”
City businessman Anthony Sarjoo is questioning the level of police professionalism following a run in he had with ranks on an armed mobile patrol and the response he received from a senior officer to his complaint.
Sarjoo is claiming that he had guns pointed at him after being stopped for what he described as a minor traffic infringement and was subsequently mistreated and threatened by a police officer to whom he was referred by Divisional Commander Marlon Chapman.
The incidents took place on Monday last on the East Coast of Demerara and the businessman is contemplating lodging an official complaint to the Commissioner of Police through the Office of Professional Responsibility.
Sarjoo told this newspaper that he was heading to the city with his wife and four-year-old daughter in his car when on approaching the junction at the University of Guyana Access Road and the Main East Coast Highway, the traffic light showed amber.
He said that he drove through the amber light and was proceeding on his way when he saw a police patrol vehicle, which had turned out from the UG Access Road, following him.
The vehicle pulled up alongside his car and after a siren was put on, one of the ranks ordered him to pull over, which he did.
Sarjoo said that he then noticed one of the ranks running towards his vehicle with gun in hand.
The rank accused him of “jumping” the traffic light and ordered him to turn back and drive to the Sparendaam Police Station.
“I asked him if that is the way the police approach someone who commits a traffic offence. Then I told him that I have problem with my ankle and I handed him my driver’s licence and told him that he could send me a summons,” Sarjoo told this newspaper.
He said that the police rank insisted that he proceed to the station at Sparendaam, but the businessman was reluctant to comply.
Eventually the rank was joined by one of his colleagues who took Sarjoo’s name, but not before telling him “we gon deal with you.”
Sarjoo said that the police drove off and he too went his way. He said that he took photos of the ranks since they did not display any name tag, and he had no other way of identifying them by name.
Sarjoo told this newspaper that angered by the approach of the ranks, he contacted Traffic Chief Dion Moore to complain.
“He said that he don’t have Traffic Officers approaching people like that, with guns, and he advised me to speak to the Commander on the East Coast, Assistant Commissioner Chapman,” Sarjoo stated.
He said that he was treated professionally by the Commander, who subsequently referred him to a deputy Superintendent of Police for an investigation to be done.
It was here that Sarjoo got another surprise.
He claimed that instead of taking a statement from him, the officer proceeded to contact the ranks via telephone for an explanation.
“He said that from what he heard the officer saying, he gathered that the rank was giving his version of what transpired.
“I heard him telling the rank over the phone, ‘oh, he fly pass you with speed? I see!’ ‘so you couldn’t leave the weapon because you had a prisoner’,” Sarjoo related.
Sarjoo said that after coming off the phone the officer turned to him and began addressing him in an unprofessional manner.
“Because I objected to the manner in which he was dealing with the matter, he started to threaten to arrest me. Instead of taking a statement from me based on my complaint, he was trying the matter on the telephone,” Sarjoo told this newspaper.
“I am not opposed to them giving me a ticket or charging me for court, but the police scared the hell out of my wife and four-year-old daughter with their approach, guns and all,” the businessman stated.
The Police Force has a policy where anti-crime ranks on patrol duty are prohibited from making traffic stops.
“Imagine they claim they had a prisoner in their vehicle and yet they going after a man who in my view committed traffic offence that only requires a ticket,” Sarjoo stated.
Guyanese you are being prostituted by your politicians!
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