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WPC claims Julius Espat insulted her

PoliticsWPC claims Julius Espat insulted her

TEAKETTLE VILLAGE, Cayo District, Mon. June 6, 2022

A woman police officer identified as WPC Alicia Trapp will likely be disciplined by the Professional Standards Branch of the Police Department for a viral video that was published live on her Facebook page. In the video, she alleges that the Minister of Infrastructural Development and area representative for Cayo South, Hon. Julius Espat pointed his finger in her face and used crude words when he spoke to her—apparently because he was angered by the fact that she was participating in the Teakettle Village Council Election as a United Democratic Party supporter. 

While she says that she was insulted by the minister, today Commissioner of Police Chester Williams stated that her actions violated the police’s social media policy and rules against open participation in a political party.

During her video, WPC Trapp identified herself as a police officer in civilian clothing and shared that she was approached by Hon. Espat, who attempted to scold her for her wearing a red shirt and being under a tent with UDP supporters. She said explicitly that she was approached because of the color of what she was wearing, a red sports shirt which didn’t have anything imprinted on it that indicated a UDP affiliation. She said that as a police officer of 9 years, she felt ashamed and disrespected by Hon. Espat’s approach and felt compelled to go live and condemn his actions.

Area representative Hon. Julius Espat was seen in her video just a stone’s throw away from where she proceeded with her own criticism of Hon. Espat and what she referred to as a trend for PUP ministers to disrespect women.

“Mr. Julius Espat came to my face and pointed and tell me I cannot be *explicit* there underneath the UDP tent. What’s wrong with this minister, ah? First Abelardo Mai disrespected Mrs. Tracy Panton; now this next minister wah come and disrespect me just because I da wa police officer and I inna civilian clothes? And he tell me I can’t wear no red shirt. What is wrong with him?  I can wear any color I choose to, and even if I mi want wear wa white or wa blue shirt, I know who I will vote for. Da none ah his business that.” WPC Trapp said on her live video.

The Commissioner of Police said, however, that WPC Trapp was never to have taken to social media to rant.

“Having listened to the video footage, even if we were to disregard her confrontation with the Hon. Julius Espat, as police officers we do have a code of conduct, and we do not expect our members to be ranting and raving on social media the way she did. It certainly is a clear violation of our social media policy, that’s one; secondly, under the Public Service Regulation, it clearly stipulates that public officers are not supposed to engage in any political activity or to show themselves to be preference to a certain political party,” COMPOL Williams said.

The COMPOL said that while WPC Trapp attempted to suggest that she was participating in the village council election as an independent voter, and that her wearing a red shirt was a matter of coincidence, some of her own remarks made her affiliation clear.

“She made mention to the fact that Alberto August was standing their with ‘our posters’, so she said our posters, and it turned out those posters that Alberto August has were UDP posters, so she automatically aligned herself with a political party” COMPOL Williams said.

Additionally, in the live video, WPC Trapp alleged that a member of Espat team described only as Ms. Mari, pushed and slapped Alberto August. “She came just because Mr. August was standing right there at the entrance with our posters, and he is supporting the chairman from Teakettle, and she came and push him, and because he didn’t want to move, she came and slap him on his face. Is that right? Please, people,” she said.

Unconfirmed reports are that WPC Trapp is supposedly the wife of the UDP chairman candidate of the village.

COMPOL Williams said that as a police officer she should not have been out there as a supporter of any party, and added that a person who places himself or herself in a political environment should expect nasty encounters.

“Everybody knows the Hon. Espat to be a political animal, not in a bad way, and so if you put yourself in the political arena, you must take what comes to you. You can’t get inna pig pen and nuh get expect to get muddy. It’s simply that, and so it’s a matter that has been passed on to the Professional Standards Branch, and they will look at it and see where we do from there,” the COMPOL remarked. He said that she is certainly at risk of facing disciplinary charges, although he could not say of what nature at this time.

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