There is mixed reaction from residents to a video of Police officers detaining three people, at least two of whom were not wearing their masks in public.
The video shows a police corporal trying to detain a young man, who was reportedly walking – unmasked – on the Valley Road in the vicinity of the West Bus Station.
Footage shows the officer, who appears to be stationed at the outpost at the Bus Station, holding onto the man’s clothing and essentially dragging him along.
A woman recording the event is heard advising the young man not to get aggressive, but to allow the officer to be the aggressor.
The uniformed officer, meanwhile, was wearing the face protection, but not properly covered, since his nose was exposed.
Shortly after, another man dressed in a t-shirt and knee-length jeans, and believed to be a police officer, joined the scene. He then assists in dragging the alleged offender to the police outpost, as the man struggles to get loose from their grip.
The supposed plain-clothes officer then goes after a young woman who also is not wearing her mask, and seems to be in the process of making a phone call. He grabs her by the hand and drags her, too, to the outpost.
The uniformed officer then makes his way to the woman who was making the video. She states that she is wearing a mask and tries to inquire why she is being arrested.
Telling the lawman not to touch her, the woman begins to scream and protest that she is being hurt. However, the officer is heard instructing her to sit down as he takes away her phone.
The woman, meanwhile, is heard telling the officer not to push her and that a male officer should not be handling a female.
While some applaud the officers for being vigilant and doing their job, other residents say that the lawmen’s response could have been more professional.
One man defends the officers, saying that they get bashed if they do not do their jobs; yet, now that they are enforcing the COVID-19 regulations, people are still complaining. He believes the officers did the right thing.
But a woman says the officers need proper training in how to deal with certain matters, since too many videos have shown their lack of professionalism when dealing with the public.
She says, too, that there is no law in Antigua and Barbuda that prohibits a person from recording anyone, even the Police, in a public space.
According to her, officers need to stop going for people’s phones, which can tell the true story of an incident and which have been effective in getting officers out of trouble. She notes, too, that video footage has worked the other way in favour of the accused.