On Friday, a video of a US citizen shouting at a traffic constable at Gulshan 2 intersection went viral on social media.
The video, showing the foreign national yell at the traffic police, caused huge uproar on social media. In the wake of the incident, the US citizen identified himself as Daniel Norton and provided a detailed description of what transpired Friday afternoon.
Daniel claimed the row was over a Tk1200 bribe. He wrote that he uses a rickshaw van to transport school supplies on Friday, and at that specific location, it has almost became a routine.
Also Read- Social media clamour over US citizen’s altercation with Gulshan traffic police
According to his statement, the police collect bribes from him on almost a daily basis, but the amount is generally much lower. He wrote he lost his temper at hearing the traffic constable demand a Tk1200 bribe.
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Daniel Horton's response to the news Collected
Daniel Norton is affiliated with a number of non-profit organisations. He has been instrumental in developing and operating Shahjadpur Jhilpar School, Iqra School in Korail slum, and Shine Free Dental Clinic among others.
His post also noted that police, in spite of demanding bribes, also took avail of the facilities provided by the free clinic he works with.
Daniel’s statement directly contradicts Dhaka Traffic Division (North) Deputy Commissioner Probir Kumar’s statement on Friday that the money asked for was a fine.
DC Probir had said it was a regulation which restricts rickshaws and rickshaw vans in Gulshan, hence the fine imposed on Daniel’s rickshaw van.
He denied allegations of bribery and said it was standard police procedure to "wreck" [place wheel clamps on] on vehicles and fine them a minimum of Tk1200.
He added that rickshaw vans and rickshaws were restricted from operating within many parts of Gulshan and are only permitted for exceptional cases. He further said the incident had caught the attention of the police commissioner who had ordered a committee to look into the matter and submit a report.
Daniel’s statement further alleged that the traffic police were holding a number of rickshaw vans other than his. When the traffic police were lambasted into releasing his van, he continued to berate the traffic police to let go of the others, outraged by the malpractice at work.
The Dhaka Tribune requested further comments from Daniel but as of 8pm Saturday did not receive any such yet.