Biker assaulted by cop applauds guilty verdict

January 19, 2023
Laurie Radlin Moroso
Laurie Radlin Moroso

Laurie Radlin Moroso, the St Catherine woman who was knocked from her motorcycle by police personnel along Mandela Highway on August 17, 2018, says last week's conviction of a policeman who was involved in the incident has reaffirmed her faith in the justice system.

Corporal Owen McCleary was found guilty of assault when he appeared in the St Catherine Parish Court. He is to be sentenced on February 24.

"Police must understand that they are not the law," said Moroso, who was handcuffed and her motionless body dragged along the roadway by the policeman during the bizarre incident.

She told THE STAR that she does not trust the police, but was quick to say that "I still have faith in the justice system".

"It was frustrating at times, but I knew I had to hold out until the end. I was happy for the guilty verdict, trust me, because it was excessive force that was used against me," she added.

Moroso, who worked as a bearer at the time of the incident, said that she was driving her motorcycle when she overtook a car along Mandela Highway in St Catherine. The vehicle hit the back of her bike, which caused her to fall from her motorcycle on to the hot asphalt.

An amateur video of the incident shows Moroso being grabbed by the throat by one of the occupants of the vehicle which hit her motorcycle. She was hurled her against a concrete median and knocked unconscious.

To add to her physical and emotional scars, the police charged her with malicious destruction of property and resisting arrest. Those charges did not hold up in court and were dismissed.

Meanwhile, Moroso told THE STAR that she watched the amateur video of the incident once and cannot muster the energy to do so a second time.

"From I watch it the first time in 2018, I never watch it again. The picture with the police standing over me like that is horrifying and it gives me too much emotion," said Moroso.

The police involved in the incident, McCleary, was charged following a probe by the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) and the Jamaica Constabulary Force's Inspectorate and Professional Standards Oversight Bureau.

Moroso, who is represented by attorney-at-law Christopher Townsend, plans to sue the State for damages.

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