Policeman files multimillion-dollar lawsuit against Govt official
…over leaked video of him sleeping on duty
A 22-year-old policeman has filed a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against Advisor to the Home Affairs Minister Harry Gill, whom he has accused of videoing him without permission when he fell asleep while performing security duties at his home.
The video was leaked to social media.
Constable Kelon Gilbert, through his Attorney-at-Law Eusi Anderson, had written to Gill in May demanding from him, a public apology as well as compensation in lieu of civil proceedings. Gill has failed to meet the demands of the cop who is now suing him for more than $5 million in damages.
Constable Gilbert is seeking against Gill, damages in excess of $1 million for intentional infliction of emotional distress or alternately more than $1 million in damages for negligent infliction of emotional distress, damages in excess of $1 million for negligence in so far as Gill, without prior informed consent, used a recording device to record him at his station of employment, more than $1 million in damages for negligence in so far as Gill recklessly or without due care aided and abetted the public dissemination of the recording and over $1 million in damages for trespass to his person.
Anderson said that on April 21, Constable Gilbert was rostered to work at Gill’s premises but there was no relief and he eventually did a shift of nearly 24 hours. As such, he noted that his client was overcome by a lack of rest and food—a fact of which Gill is personally aware since he observed the events. While performing duties, the lawyer said that Constable Gilbert opened his eyes to Gill directing a recording device to his face.
According to him, after the policeman caught Gill in the act, he turned away the camera and concealed it in his pocket. Anderson said that Gill’s image was captured at the end of the video which was subsequently posted to social media.
According to the lawyer, his client did not authorise, permit or otherwise consent to be recorded. This, he noted, is obvious from Gill’s decision to abruptly end the recording when Constable Gill caught him recording him. Since the recording “entered permanently” into the infinite boundaries of the internet, counsel submitted that his client has suffered public ridicule and tremendous opprobrium and he and his family cannot stop reeling from the emotional distress it has caused.
He argued that Gill “intended to violate the privacy and breach [Constable Gilbert’s] right to not be recorded without his consent and same is evident in his strident efforts to conceal the recording device once the [policeman] woke up.”
Apart from damages, the Policeman wants the High Court to order the Government official to publicly apologise to him, orders for costs and interest pursuant to the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, and such further or other order the court deems just.
Guyana Times understands that following the incident, Constable Gilbert, who is stationed at the Tactical Services Unit (TSU), was charged departmentally with neglect of duties.