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Barbed Wire 'Thrown In Immigration Officer's Face'

By AVA TURNQUEST

Tribune Chief Reporter

aturnquest@tribunemedia.net

A SUSPECTED illegal migrant allegedly threw barbed wire in the face of an immigration officer in a bid to evade capture during a routine check yesterday morning.

Immigration minister Fred Mitchell confirmed that the male officer sustained cuts and lacerations to his face as a result of the incident, and had to receive stitches at hospital.

Mr Mitchell said he could not confirm whether the officer was the same man in a photo that was heavily circulated on social media, and has stirred intense social commentary.

On social networks, FaceBook and WhatsApp, the photo of a man with several cuts across his face is purported to be the result of an altercation with a Haitian woman.

However in yesterday’s incident, Mr Mitchell explained that the officer was chasing a man who ran from officials during a check at Cowpen Road.

“This man [officer] was giving pursuit of a suspected illegal migrant along Cowpen Road,” he said. “When he had almost got the man, the individual was alleged to have thrown barbed wire in his face and made good his escape.

“I have been informed that the man [alleged culprit] is now in police custody. The officer received some injuries that resulted in cuts and lacerations to his face, he has had stitches put in his face and he was released from hospital. So he should be back on the job shortly.”

Mr Mitchell said he could not speak to whether tensions between the country’s migrant population and law enforcement had increased since stricter regulations were implemented on November 1. He maintained that there have been no claims of abuse filed against immigration officers or complaints over their conduct. Mr Mitchell explained that officers were briefed routinely on their obligation to maintain professional and humane treatment during the course of executing their duties.

“What I know is that law enforcement officers are doing their jobs as far as I’m aware,” he said. “Law enforcement is a difficult thing, it’s not easy. I just spoke to the enforcement chief to ensure that he briefs officers to remember that they are to act according to the law, not to be involved in abuse or insulting language, and the checks continue.

“I have also appealed to the public during this time, they have to be patient and allow due process. On the part of migrants, there is no reason to run,

that’s just it. There is no reason for any law-abiding person to run.”

Comments

afficianado 5 years, 2 months ago

I wonder what Fred Smith have to say about this ordeal..hmm

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Voltaire 5 years, 2 months ago

Oh I don' know – I imagine he'd say that the actions of one individual do not in any way represent a community. That people who try to define an entire group of people by the actions of a minority engage in the definition of prejudice. Or, he might say that the man must have been in terror and desperate to get away, especially considering how the officers have been carrying on. If they will beat and drag a pregnant woman through the streets, imagine what they will do to one terrified, fleeing man. Or, he might say that this new immigration policy will be incredibly destructive to our nation in the long run, creating tensions and ethnic violence on both sides. This is how terrible, terrible things in other countries have started. OR, he might ask what the immigration officers expect while carrying out a brutal policy that is at the same time unconstitutional.

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Voltaire 5 years, 2 months ago

For my part though, I find it much more fruitful to meditate on the utter childish stupidity of a perspective which automatically defends the Bahamians involved in each of these issues, just cuz they "ours". Like its a football game or something. Petty, ignorant tribalism. Each of these incidents is a separate matter, involving individuals who either acted properly and justifiably, or not. And neither of us was there in person to make that judgement.

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bahamianimmigrant 5 years, 2 months ago

I pray that officer gets well very soon.. ... this immigration officer was giving pursuit of a suspected illegal migrant along Cowpen Road,” he said. “When he had almost got the man, the individual was alleged to have thrown barbed wire in his face and made good his escape... SOMETHING AINT SOUND RIGHT HERE if ur brain functions well... Only God knows What Happened!

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Voltaire 5 years, 2 months ago

Yeah, like where did he get this barbed wire from? Had it in his pocket? Under his hat? Incredible how this story came out, just in time to distract from the brutality claims by those pregnant women and others... Smell a rat bahamianimmigrant?

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BoopaDoop 5 years, 2 months ago

Yeah, the report may as well have been "battery acid thrown at officer".

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Emac 5 years, 2 months ago

@Volitaire-I like the way you put things in to perspective. It is very difficult to be objective with everything that is going on. But you are a lonely voice in the wilderness. Bahamians are fed up. When people are fed up they don't even want to see the other side of the coin or even stop to think about being rational. Perhaps at this junction, if illegals do not wish to be treated in the manner that they claim they are being treated, then the wise thing would be for them to simply leave the country voluntarily to avoid such incidence. On the other hand, if an illegal Haitian decide to remain in this country in the midst of all that is going on, he or she cannot expect to complain. The pregnant ladies claim is a different matter of course

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Voltaire 5 years, 2 months ago

I hear you Emac, the same kind of ultimatum can be given to us though, something like "If you don't want the world to condemn and shun you, make sure your method of enforcing immigration laws is humane and in line with your own constitution." Migration is a big, hot-button issue around the world right now, we do not realize what kind of fire we are playing with here. Would the country be better off with no illegals, and no tourism jobs?

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TheMadHatter 5 years, 2 months ago

This story proves it is too late now. The country has waited too late to act on illegal immigration.

The Govt should ask President Obama if he can obtain residency permits for Bahamians to live in his native country of Kenya - and the Bahamas Govt should pay to fly ALL full blooded Bahamians to Kenya - in fact make it a law that they all must go. Leave this country alone for illegals to live here and prosper. There is no point trying to save the country now - it is too late.

it will be taken over by illegals 100% - so it is best we all leave now to avoid any fuss and charges by International organizations. Hopefully Min. Mitchell can get this approved by Obama and the President of Kenya before Christmas, so we can all celebrate under a different tree.

TheMadHatter

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lucaya 5 years, 2 months ago

To be a bit decent in my word,he would not see the light of day!

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SP 5 years, 2 months ago

Immigration is carrying out a very difficult task that should have started 4 decades ago. It won't be easy and a lot of feathers will be ruffled along the way.

Where is Amnesty International to protect our immigration officers?

Deport ALL ILLEGALS and their children no matter how dam long they were hiding in the bushes.

These people have nothing but malice for our country and will either destroy it or bring in more parasites at every opportunity...... ASS OUT!

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