Attorney-at-law Ryan Crawford, earlier today (Friday), appeared at the Vigilance Magistrate’s Court and pleaded not guilty to all of the charges in relation to a social media broadcast of a video in which he allegedly upbraided an officer using expletives.
The Attorney was charged with the following offences: (1) Prohibition of Tinted Glass; (2) Failure to Produce Driver’s Licence; (3) Driving an Unfit Motor Vehicle; (4) Use of Obscene Language and (5) Riotous Behaviour.
According to one of Crawford’s attorney Sanjeev Datadin the matter is one that is frustrating since they were misled by which court the matter would be called in.
“ We were told to go to the Mahaicony Magistrate’s Court for 9 in the morning and when we got there, there was no court so we had to check with Mahaica court also and make sure that the jacket was at the right one, that’s why we got here a little after 9”. Datadin explained.
Other attorneys that represented Crawford in the matter were Teni Housty, Pauline Chase, Aneesa Chow, Ganesh Hira, Ramesh Rajkumar, Chandra Sohan, Horatio Edmonson, Lloyd Thomas, Eon Smith and Joel Edmond.
The defendant was released on self bail and the case has been postponed to October 10, 2018 at Mahaicony Court.
The lawyer came under fire after the video which was posted by the Officer allegedly showed him refusing to comply with the requests of the Officer, which was to hand over his motor vehicle’s documents and to wind up his car window.
After being stopped on the East Coast Demerara (EDC) road, Crawford proceeded to question the Officer as to his reason for doing so.
In the almost four minutes long video, the lawyer repeatedly used profanity at the Officer telling him “you can go and tell each and every one of the commanders, the President and Vice President, you go and tell whoever you want…” before driving off.
The Bar Association, in a statement to the press, condemned Crawford’s actions imploring him and its other members to conduct themselves in a professional manner.
The lawyer has since issued a public apology but added that he was not sorry for questioning arbitrary authority.
In his apology, Crawford also stated that his frustration was the cause of his expletive rant noting that he was only attempting to get his point across which is that he was illegally stopped.
The matter has attracted the attention of many Guyanese and has significantly divided opinion. While some have expressed the need for more becoming behaviour, many have expressed frustration at constant random stops from Police ranks on the roadways.