Defence lawyer or police officer?

Letters to the Editor

Defence lawyer or police officer?

Friday, August 23, 2019

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Dear Editor,

I have watched multiple times, with utter amazement, the interview with Assistant Police Commissioner (ACP) Bishop Dr Gary Welsh and Dennis Dietrih — the man purporting to be the driver seen in the now infamous video which went viral recently.

For those who might not yet have seen the video, the driver is seen to be spinning his car around in the most insane manner on a public road with other motorists around.

Among other things, ACP Welsh seems actually star struck by the cameras and the motorist himself, referring to the lawbreaker as if he were a celebrity.

Having said that the motorist was guilty of “careless driving” while “endangering other members of the public”, ACP Welsh is guilty of gross dereliction of duty in not charging the driver, despite the gravity of the breaches committed. If this is how the head of the Jamaica Constabulary Force's Public Safety and Traffic Enforcement Branch acts, how then does he expect his subordinates to him to enforce the law when breaches are committed?

One is left to wonder had the driver involved been a poor man from the inner city, and the car involved was an old taxi, if the goodly assistant commissioner would have been so lenient.

I certainly think not!

While the above is troubling enough, nothing is as concerning to me as when the ACP tells members of the press, who were questioning the driver, that he will not “allow them to ask him any questions which may incriminate himself”. At that point I had to wonder if the ACP was acting in the capacity of a law enforcement officer who should want to hear evidence of past indiscretions on the road — which is what the question being asked was pertaining to — or was he serving as defence attorney?

Subsequent to the ACP's farcical interview, additional video footage has surfaced appearing to show the actual driver of the vehicle to be of far darker complexion than the aforementioned Dennis Dietrih. One would respectfully suggest to ACP Welsh that he use his good office to thoroughly investigate the situation surrounding the incident and charge all those responsible in accordance with the laws that he is sworn to enforce and uphold.

If Dietrih is found to have been impersonating the driver involved, as is now being alleged and seemingly supported by additional video footage, it would be interesting to see how ACP Welsh responds to being an unwilling participant in a game in which he was unknowingly a simple and silly pawn.

Leroy Dixon

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