Magistrate Graveney Bannister (FILE)
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A Bridgetown magistrate says the time has come for people who videotape police to be prosecuted, as he cautioned the public about trusting the videos that were circulated on social media.
Magistrate Graveney Bannister’s comments came as a video of an incident in the Nursery Drive Terminal, allegedly involving accused Travis Tremaine Brathwaite, of Sealy Hall, St Philip, and Constable 2077 Dennis Murray, went viral last week.
The video showed the constable kicking and cuffing Brathwaite before the lawman was pulled off the accused by another constable.
Brathwaite was subsequently arrested and charged with obstructing, assaulting and resisting Murray, as well as damaging Murray’s police shirt which belonged to the Crown, all on May 3.
Brathwaite’s attorney Shamar Bovell had said he would be instituting a private prosecution against the lawman on behalf of his client.
“I think we need to prosecute people for taping policemen,” said Magistrate Bannister, who heard the matter against Brathwaite and fellow public service vehicle operator James Anthony Andrews, of Apple Hall Terrace, St Philip, in the Bridgetown Traffic Court on Friday.
Stressing that he knew about cameras, having worked with them previously, the magistrate said such videos did not paint a true picture of events which transpired.
“I know about cameras. They’ve got trick cameras. You can select what you want to select and delete what you want to delete,” he said.
“The videos paint a picture of what people want to see. They are not there at the beginning. Sometimes they are halfway, sometimes they are edited. You cannot rely on them alone,” the magistrate said, as he advised members of the public to go willingly “when an officer is trying to arrest you”.
Brathwaite and Andrews, who each faced four charges, were both remanded to HMP Dodds for 28 days. They return to court on June 1. (HLE)