One week after an expletive-laced video of lawyer and traffic cop went viral, sparking a debate of police’s stop on the country’s roadways, the former has been slapped with five charges.
Today, attorney-at-law, Ryan Crawford, who fought himself in the spotlight in a raging debate, will be standing on the other side of the courtroom.
He will be appearing at the Mahaicony Magistrate’s Court, according to the Guyana Police Force.
The charges are “Prohibition of Tinted Glass”, “Failure to Produce Driver’s Licence”, “Driving an Unfit Motor Vehicle”, “Use of Obscene Language” and “Riotous Behaviour”.
The traffic rank stopped Crawford along the Mahaicony Public Road, East Coast Demerara last Thursday.
According to police, Crawford was served a summons which his secretary accepted on his behalf. He reported to the Whim Station this week. It was while there that his vehicle documents were perused by a traffic rank.
The police said that Crawford’s vehicle road service licence was renewed a couple days after his “cuss out”. His insurance was also reportedly expired. He was questioned, released on his own recognizance and referred back to East Coast Demerara where the incident took place.
On September 16, last, Crawford issued an apology via Facebook for his behaviour towards a traffic cop on September 13. But he made it clear also that he was not sorry for questioning the policeman’s ‘arbitrary authority’.
“I am not trying to justify my behaviour. My language was not proper as an officer of the courts or as a member of the Bar of Guyana. I apologize for my language, but I’m not sorry for questioning arbitrary authority.”
In his apology, Mr. Crawford stated that it was his frustration that led to the excessive use of expletives to get his point across to the officer for what he alleges is an illegal stop, and that there were things said prior to the filming of the video.
The video was uploaded online by the rank who stopped Crawford.
The lawyer, who had a male passenger seated next to him, demanded to know why he was stopped.
The rank said he could not see the driver properly and therefore stopped the car.
This angered the lawyer who insisted that he was behind two trucks and was not buying that explanation.
He reportedly used expletives over 30 times in the almost four minutes of video.
The lawyer said he did nothing wrong and refused to produce his driver’s licence. The lawyer loudly said that there must be reasonable suspicion and probable cause to stop him.
The Guyana Bar Association in a statement issued in the wake of the incident, said that while the Association refrained from commenting on the matter, it informed Guyanese of the procedure for being pulled over by the police.
“A motorist can only be stopped by a uniformed police officer for due cause if he has formed the reasonable suspicion in his mind that an offence has been committed. That is, the police officer must have formed a reasonable suspicion in his mind of an offence prior to stopping the motorist. The officer is under a duty to identify himself and inform the motorist of the alleged offence.”
The video sparked an incensed debate on social media about the abuse of a few police ranks who use traffic stops to shake down drivers.
Lauded by quite a few for raising an issue that has angered Guyanese, Crawford was also criticized for his choice of words.
He reportedly drove away in his BMW sedan after refusing to hand over his documents.
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