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Concern For Police Reputation

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Commissioner of Police Ellison Greenslade

By KHRISNA VIRGIL

Tribune Staff Reporter

kvirgil@tribunemedia.net

POLICE Commissioner Ellison Greenslade says he is concerned about the force’s reputation with the public following the number of police brutality allegations and a string of recent deaths in custody.

In fact, Mr Greenslade yesterday said he believes that his organisation has its work cut out in trying to rectify some of their issues.

He was asked by reporters, just moments before the official opening of the newly renovated OPBAT facility in Inagua, if he was worried that alleged police abuse may be tainting the public’s perception of the Royal Bahamas Police Force.

“Absolutely,” Mr Greenslade said, “I believe that it is an issue that really challenges me.

“Because despite the best intention on my part and the best intention by the Minister, my permanent secretary and all of us in leadership that wish the best for this country whenever those things happen we get a black eye.

“When your public loses confidence in you then, of course, you are on very, very shaky ground. So we have a lot of work to do going forward to try to right some of these things.”

And in trying to rectify its challenges, the Commissioner said the RBPF is committed to enforcing the full brunt of the law, even to its own officers who are caught stepping out of line. But he said those situations do not occur on a large scale.

“I continue to remind all of us that no man is above the law in the Commonwealth of the Bahamas.

“And if you offend against the law, the law will take its course.

“We as servants of the people must always be above all with clean hands and must do the work professionally.

“(There have been) a variety of things, (with some of our officers) professional conduct, unethical conduct, actions bordering on criminality and sometimes criminality, exposure to drugs, dishonesty... all sorts of matters,” he said.

Comments

TalRussell 7 years, 8 months ago

I respect the "Commish" but still it's time for a "special prosecutor" to be appointed to look into the mounting serious accusations being made against his police officers. The public is not yet satisfied that these serious accusations are not going to be brushed under some police secrecy code of conduct?

And, while they're looking at the police they also need to take a close look at what amounts to a growing trend by some police officers of harassing law abiding citizens.

While most Bahamians believe that the the majority of police officers do perform their duties without breaking the law or causing harm to citizens they might have reason to come into contact with, still it has already become all too common to hear tales of police officers who think that they can just act like they are the law unto themselves.

The "Commish" is so right when he says; “When your public loses confidence in you (the Police) then, of course, you are on very, very shaky ground."

Police powers are not the powers of either the judiciary and lawmakers. We have to wait and see if the "Commish" is ready to 'fire" any and all of his police offers who act like they are the damn Judge and Jury? Sadly, maybe even the official Executioner.

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by TalRussell

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SP 7 years, 8 months ago

Police Commissioner Ellison Greenslade at least had enough sense to admit a serious problem exist on the police force. Any Bahamian knows only too well that police brutality has been out of control in the Bahamas eternally.

The most surprising fact about Bahamas police brutality is that international agencies being aware of this ongoing well publicized problem in the Bahamas has never raised the issue.

A realistic sad truth is, if an individual treated a dog, turtle, horse, cat, shark, dolphin or any animal the way police treat Bahamian citizens, international animal rights agencies would immediately crawl out of every nook and cranny in this country. Newspaper headlines, TV and radio would all be ablaze with animal rights activists and demonstrations led by high profile people from Lyford Cay to Eastern road would be non ending.

For police brutality to flourish as it has is also condemnation and undeniable proof that The Bahamas Justice System in totality has also long ago broken down. Police brutality cannot flourish otherwise.

We can all remember unlimited case's over past decades where Judge's have either thrown cases out or were told by defendants that they were beaten for confessions’. Yet' how many times has a Judge ordered investigations into such matter's...NEVER!

Cases, in which officers are accused of using excessive force to violate victims' civil rights, are plagued by problems with victims' credibility, a lack of strong physical evidence and the "CODE OF SILENCE" adopted by officers who refuse to testify against others in their ranks. Without the cooperation of witnesses — often other police officers — these cases will are reduced to allegations and denials.

However police brutality in the Bahamas is so rampant and well known, NO ONE will believe an officer did NOT use excessive force.

Police brutality and excessive force cases forced the U.S. to begin requiring all recruits to submit to psychological testing before joining the force. When the test was first administered a few years ago, 20% of the recruits failed!

Considering this U.S. 20% psychological failure statistic as a rule of thumb, when compounded with decades of an unrestrained culture of police brutality, and compensating for the breakdown of the Judicial System and total lack of concern by successive Police Commissioners, Ministers of National Security and entire Government administrations, speculation in reasonably reckoning the Bahamas position is easily in excess of a 40% psychological failure ratio, and much of that is learned behavior inherited and adopted upon joining the police force itself.

Now it is up to the powers that be and indeed all of us to facilitate in any way possible to rid our country of these rouge monster police and prison officers that hide behind a uniform, badge, baton and gun plaguing our country with terror and corruption in every sector.

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steplight 7 years, 8 months ago

State terrorism may refer to acts of terrorism conducted by a state against a foreign state or people. It can also refer to acts of violence by a state against its own people.Philosopher Igor Primoratz provides four reasons why he believes that state terrorism is typically morally worse than non-state terrorism. First, because of the nature of the modern state and "the amount and variety of resources" available even for small states, the state mode of terrorism claims vastly more victims than does terrorism by non-state actors. Secondly, because "state terrorism is bound to be compounded by secrecy, deception and hypocrisy", terrorist states typically act with clandestine brutality while publicly professing adherence to "values and principles which rule it out." Thirdly, because unlike non-state actors, states are signatories in international laws and conventions prohibiting terrorism, so when a state commits acts of terrorism it is "in breach of its own solemn international commitments." Finally, while there may be circumstances where non-state actors are in such an oppressed situation that there may be no alternative but terrorism, Primoratz argues that "it seems virtually impossible that a state should find itself in such circumstances where it has no alternative to resorting to terrorism."

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