Motorists can only be stopped by police on grounds of “reasonable suspicion” – Bar Association

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The Guyana Bar Association has stated that police officers can only stop motorists if they reasonably suspect that a crime has been committed.

The statement from the Association of legal minds was issued in light of the circulation of a video showing Attorney Ryan Crawford verbally abusing a police officer.

From all indications, the police officer stopped the motorcar being driven by the lawyer and requested certain documents but Crawford contended that the cop had no right to pull him over.

See full statement from Bar Association on the issue:

A video, currently being circulated on social media, involving a member of the association, has come to the attention of the Bar Council of the Bar Association of Guyana. The Bar Council holds its members to the highest standards of ethics and conduct and implores them to conduct themselves, at all times, in a manner befitting that of our most noble and esteemed profession.

We take note of the report as published in the September 14, 2018 edition of the Guyana Chronicle Newspaper that the matter in issue is under investigation and therefore refrain at this time from making any comment thereon. We trust that the said investigation will include the circumstances surrounding the recording, publication and sharing of the video.

We take this opportunity to inform the general public, that 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. This is also in keeping with the Police Force’s published guidelines as reported in the Guyana Chronicle Newspaper of January 21, 2016 and other media outlets. A motorist is entitled to know the name, rank and identification number of the police officer and must comply with all lawful directions of the officer, the aforesaid duty being already discharged.

We also put the general public on notice that the sharing and posting of such recordings on social media or in any such domain could give rise to the issue of the publication and sensationalism of obscene material for which they could be held liable.

 

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