Christiana taxi operators threaten to protest over alleged police harassment
Screengrab of viral video of altercation between police and Christiana cabbie

MANCHESTER, Jamaica — Taxi operators are threatening to protest over what they claim is harassment by the police in the north east Manchester town of Christiana, where there is no proper transport centre.

The latest incident drawing the ire of the operators was captured on video which went viral on social media Wednesday.

In the near two-minute video, a taxi operator is seen resisting arrest by two police officers, one of whom uses a baton to hit the cabbie.

“Nuh traffic mi nuh obstruct… Mine weh a do enuh. Mi ago call mi lawyer now. Video everything,” the taxi driver repeatedly said.

One of the policemen then warns the man to comply before the taxi operator grabs the baton and a tussle ensues during which the officer uses his foot to trip the cabbie.

The taxi operator falls into a drain then continues his resistance. He is then pushed against a fence before the police manage to arrest him.

A woman is heard pleading with the police not to use the baton on the taxi operator while bystanders hurl expletives at the two officers.

President of the Central Manchester Taxi Association Shirley Johnson said he has instructed his members who operate in Christiana to defend the taxi operator.

“The police is harassing the members up there and they don’t have a (proper) park. Anything they plan to do I am going to defend them… The little park that is in Christiana can’t hold 20 cars,” he said.

“I expect something (protest) to happen up there, because this is stupidness and a long time it a gwan… I am really upset when I saw this video. I try to give them (taxi operators) advice that they must defend their brother and if it comes to a lockdown in the morning I will be right there with them,” added Johnson.

In March, taxi operators blocked a section of the Succeed main road near Christiana over the parking issue.

The taxis previously used a private property as a parking area, but it is now under construction for a commercial building.

The taxi operators say the parking arrangement on Wildman Street, commonly referred to as Market Street, is dangerous.

BY KASEY WILLIAMS , Observer staff reporter

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