ComPol Williams says he is not fazed by OJ
The Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams, says he is not fazed one bit by the case brought against him by Police Officer Alicia Trapp. On Tuesday, Trapp’s attorney, Orson “OJ” Elrington, was successful in having the courts accept their application after the ComPol, via the Attorney General’s Ministry, attempted to have it struck out. Trapp is accused of violating the Police Department’s social media policy by taking to Facebook and venting about an incident involving her and Minister Julius Espat. Trapp claims that the department violated her constitutional rights, and her attorney believes she has an ironclad case. However, ComPol Williams says Elrington’s success in court so far is not troubling at all.
Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police: “If you play football game isn’t it that the team that scores the most goals win if not then France would be the World Cup champion not Argentina. The defendant in that matter who is the Commissioner of Police and the Attorney General scored four goals, OJ Elrington scored one by I would say by penalty, by default. He sought I think six reliefs from the court and our attorney was able to have the court dismiss five of those six reliefs that he sought. How could you claim victory ? Four goals were scored against you you only scored one. Unless if victory has now changed its meaning. And I do understand the rationale behind the court saying that relief A can go to trial and that has to do with where he’s alleging that his client’s right to freedom of expression and association is being violated. Now I would like to take OJ Elrington to the constitution section 22 subsection 2 which says that nothing in the constitution shall be deemed to be unconstitutional or contravene the constitution where there is any law in a disciplinary force to ensure that discipline is maintained. The police department falls within that because in the definition section it defines what is defined as security forces and police department falls within that and in that same section 22 I think it says only if there is a violation of section 4 (7) and another section I don’t remember the other section which would be the torture and inhumanely and something else. But when it relates to section 13 which deals with the right to freedom of association it will be captured by section 22 subsection (2).”
ComPol Williams further explained that the section of the constitution in question does have a clause that allows for the rights of members of security services to be derogated.
Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police: “While we do have rights those rights are not unfettered and so there is a limitation clause there that says that when it comes to the rights it can be derogated under certain circumstances and again public interest, public security, public morality is captured by that and it speaks to the fact that if there is a law in place to ensure that public safety, public morality whatever is in place and that is when section 24 of the Police Act comes in to show that the constitution does give parliament the authority to make law to derogate from those rights when it comes to public safety, public interest, public morality etc. Now what the court will do which is perfectly in order because again in judicial review the court is the one that ensures that the constitutional rights of people is protected. So they are the guardians of the constitution. So what the court is going to do I assume is that the judge is going to hear the matter to determine whether or not the provisions of the Police Act are reasonable because section 13 subsection 2 (c) says that any provision imposed to derogate from those rights must be reasonable. So I think the court is going to delve into it to ascertain if the provisions in section 24 is reasonable and I’m sure at the end the court is going to find that they are reasonable. We live in a society where people already believe that police have too much powers, police are undisciplined, how can you live in a just society where the police would have no rules that governs them, do we then expect that they’re going to perform their duties and treat the public with respect and perform with integrity as they should ? Even in the homes you have discipline so it is only right that the police department and as well as the Coast Guard and the BDF do have provisions to ensure that they keep their members in line so that they do not violate the rights of the ordinary citizenry.”