(TRINIDAD GUARDIAN) – A man, who identified himself as the police officer who was featured in a secretly-recorded video allegedly accepting a $100 bribe for the sale of marijuana, is claiming that he thought he was being asked about the sale of seeds.
But the Police Service took a dim view of the video and immediately launched an investigation into the matter.
Contacted yesterday for a comment, head of the TTPS’ corporate communications, Ellen Lewis said that Professional Standards Bureau “is now investigating the contents of a video, in circulation on social media, involving a police officer.”
TTPS public information officer, ASP Michael Jackman, described the matter as “troubling” and added that it is “a source of great concern to the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service.”
A woman, who identified herself as a close relative of the police officer who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the officer was traumatised by the contents of the video.
She said since the video began circulating on social media they have been getting threats and believe that their lives are now in danger.
The relative said the family believes that the person behind the video was someone whom the officer had arrested and that the officer was being set up.
“All morning people calling here and threatening us. This was someone whom he arrested and they now came out with this. We are getting threats since morning and they are calling us names. We are clean. He gave a ticket to this man and they tried to set him up,” the relative said.
She agreed to take the phone to the officer but the call was later cut. No one answered subsequent calls. The video, which is over one minute, shows the driver of the vehicle, who was dressed in a red jersey, calling out to the officer. The man, who described the officer as “drunk and thirsty,” claimed his video was just a “social experiment for T&T to see how police officers does be taking bribe.”
When he stopped his vehicle he narrated that he was going to give $100 to the officer and ask him for marijuana.
Seconds after the officer, who was dressed in the T&T Police Service uniform, walked up to the driver’s side and spoke to the driver. The driver asked him for weed, to which the officer replied: “How much you want?”
The driver then told the officer that he needed a pound. The officer said that he could not have gotten that amount but added that he could have only provided a quarter of an ounce but would have to go to his home to get it for him.
Nearing the end of the video, the driver asked the officer for his cellphone number and he disclosed the number. When the T&T Guardian attempted to call the number, the calls went unanswered and then to a voicemail recording, in which a male voice was heard saying: “You will have to call me back.”
Later in the day, a voice note, purporting to the that of the officer, was released in a bid to clear his name. In that recording, a male voice identified himself as the officer in the viral video.
“I am the police with the video that gone viral. I just want to clear my name right? I had a couple drinks and did not hear him say weed, I thought it was seed. I plant grass. I plant all different kind of trees and thing and I thought it was seed he say. I am clearing my name. It was $100 for seeds. He really try to set me up dey.”