Man who recorded swearing officer was drunk, disruptive - police

Durban – A video on social media that showed a police officer swearing at a member of the public does not paint an entirely accurate picture of the incident, police have said.

In the video, a man recorded the police officers while alleging no one was willing to assist him in opening an assault case. An officer, thereafter, asked the man if he was recording him. The man replied that he was.

At this point an officer, who calmly walked to the front of the charge office, was heard saying to the man: "I’ll fucking break that thing."

The man told the officer he had a right to take a video and claimed assault when the officer got closer to him.

However, police spokesperson Brigadier Jay Naicker said the man taking the video was, at the time, "highly under the influence of liquor" and had to be arrested.

"He was duly informed of the refusal and it was recorded as such in our registers. He was requested to return later in the morning when he was sober. Unfortunately, he reacted badly to this request and refused to leave. Instead he displayed disruptive behaviour, which resulted in his arrest for being drunk in a public place."

Naicker said he was released a few hours later after he had sobered up, and was issued with a warning to appear in the Ladysmith Magistrate’s Court on March 30.

"It is important for members of the community to understand that the police cannot open cases for someone who is under the influence of liquor and that the charge will be refused. They will be requested to return once sober.

"Where individuals become aggressive and confrontational they leave police with no other option but to arrest them for being drunk in a public place."

Police, however, did not respond to questions on whether action would be taken against the officer for allegedly swearing at the man. 

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