Gov’t Councillor Kari Douglas charged with breaching COVID-19 curfew

Councillor Kari Douglas

Kari Douglas, councillor for the Trafalgar Division in the Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation, has been charged with breaching the Disaster Risk Management Act and disorderly conduct, Tuesday night (April 7).

She has vowed to “vigorously defend herself in court against the charge.

A statement circulating on social media—purportedly from one of the arresting officers—said Douglas was stopped along Meadowbrook Avenue in St Andrew and “failed to identify herself as a member of the essential service as laid down by the law”.

It is further alleged in the viral statement that Douglas “became boisterous and started hurling abusive language stating that the police were idiots and dunce to the annoyance and disturbance of the public”.

“She was bailed at the sum of $20,000 to appear in the HWT RM Court [the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court] on May 6, 2020,” the statement added.

Douglas told OBSERVER ONLINE that she was neither rude nor boisterous when stopped by members of a police team a few blocks from her house, despite them refusing to accept that as a councillor she is exempt from the curfew rules.

She said: “The claims against me are false. The prime minister has clearly established that under the Disaster Risk Management Act, mayors and councillors are exempt from the curfew. With that exemption in mind, I remained in my division last night to deal with some emergency situations involving some elderly and vulnerable persons who needed help.

“I was about two blocks away from my home when the police pulled me over and asked for my driver’s license. They did not even look at it. I told them I was a councillor and that I was exempt under the law but they refused to listen and said they were going to lock me up if I couldn’t produce a valid Government-issued ID that identified me as a councillor of the Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation.”

She said she was asked to follow the police to the Constant Spring Police Station where she was charged, despite the mayor and deputy mayor of the Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation turning up to identify her.