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Where’S My Son? Suspect ‘Held’ 13 Days Ago Goes Missing

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Marvin Pratt

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

ASSISTANT Commissioner of Police Clayton Fernander said the Royal Bahamas Police Force has launched a full-scale investigation into the whereabouts of Marvin Pratt, 40, a Gambier Village resident whose family believes he is in police custody.

Mr Pratt’s family said he was arrested 13 days ago and has not been heard from since.

The matter has been picked up by Rights Bahamas who said it will launch judicial review proceedings on behalf of Mr Pratt if police don’t reveal his whereabouts shortly.

The group said in a statement over the weekend: “As far as his family knows, Pratt has not been charged with any crime, meaning that if he is still in police custody, his detention is illegal and a contravention of his fundamental rights under the Bahamas Constitution.

“Acquaintances of the family who have seen Pratt in detention say he appears to have been beaten while in custody. Despite trying several times to find out what has happened to Marvin, the family have been repeatedly stonewalled by police. As far as they know, he has not been given the opportunity to consult with an attorney and has not been allowed to apply for bail – further gross violations of his constitutional rights.

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Clayton Fernander, Assistant Commissioner of Police.

“Our law enforcement officials must learn that they cannot arbitrarily detain and hold people for extended periods of time. These repressive thug-like tactics are illegal and should not be tolerated in any democratic society. If no answers are forthcoming in the very short term, Rights Bahamas will launch judicial review proceedings on behalf of Marvin Pratt immediately.”

A neighbour, Rose Francis, 55, told The Tribune she saw four police officers chase Mr Pratt and arrest him around 10am on December 4 on Holly Hock Road.

She claimed: “I was cleaning a man’s bathroom and when I was going home that morning I saw the police coming and I saw Marvin, so I said ‘Marvin run, run, run, the man, the man,’ and they ran behind him, put him in a jeep, and the officer told me if I open my (expletive) mouth he gon’ kill me.”

Nonetheless, ACP Fernander was careful not to definitively say whether Mr Pratt was arrested and taken into custody.

“The investigation started when we got information from the family,” he told this newspaper, adding the investigation will determine if Mr Pratt was arrested. “We should have something sometime this week. Officers have already met the family. There is a lot of hearsay going on, this one telling them that, but we are doing our background to see if he was picked up.”

ACP Fernander said determining whether someone is in police custody can sometimes be challenging because people may give fake names.

However, Mr Pratt’s mother, Barbara Saunders, said her son is too well-known to police to have his identity mistaken. She said her son has served time in prison on drug related matters.

“He bad and he good,” she said.

She said police have visited her home in recent days, asking for a picture of Mr Pratt’s room and for a picture of him.

“Superintendent Rahming, homicide detective, came (Saturday) night saying he came for a picture,” she said. “I ain’ give the man no picture. They get my child. They want a picture so they could say if he dead or alive. Who does come in the night? They came the night before too. Sergeant Major came on Friday to take a picture of Marvin’s room but my kids ain’ let him take no picture. Marvin been locked up a few times and I know they have his picture.”

Ms Saunders said she is worried.

“If he right or wrong, I just need to see him and know where he is,” she said. “Someone who know him who was in the cell told one of my nieces they saw him in there and his face was beaten and bruised. I don’t care if you good or you bad, you need rights.”

She said she and her granddaughter went looking for Mr Pratt at the Drug Enforcement Unit after he went missing.

“I went and said ‘do y’all have a Marvin Saunders or a Marvin Pratt,’ because I know sometimes these fellas does change their names,” she said. “But they know him good. The DEU man said, ‘y’all come to sign his bail hey?’ I said ‘yes’ and he went in the back and when he come back he had a face only a mother could love and we had to get out of there. When I ask him if they had Marvin there and he asked if y’all come to sign for him, that means they had him right? So why he change his tone after checking in the back? Every station we call, nothing, the hospital, the prison, nothing.”

Comments

DDK 1 year, 9 months ago

Sounds like the RBPF is as out of control as the criminals, if so does that not make them criminals too?

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licks2 1 year, 9 months ago

How many times must people ask yinna read carefully, analyse and deduce content coherently before yall start talking foolishness? This family's story has so many "cockeyed" details in it that I would not even try to check Togy and Bobo with it before I go and do a through check first. Leave out all the dramatics injected by the mother, the witness and Rights Bahamas. I will leave the investigation thus far. . .until an official investigation is done!!

There are too many "rabbit trails" in this story to come to any sane and valid conclusion until further information is provided!! For example, rights Bahamas is talking about detention without bail. . .the mother said that the Police asked her if she came to sign his bail. . .before she found out that he was not there or whatever! Those two pieces of information right there are diametrically opposed to each other. . . so somebody een know what they "talkin bout" or just plain lying!!

This discrepancy suggests that those two groups are not communicating. . . or again, they lying and just being dramatic to hype up public opinion!!

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ThisIsOurs 1 year, 9 months ago

Someone could be dead will you just stop. Please. Exactly how much effort would it take for the police to report to some authority: who was on duty that evening, who was in the cell with him and then to the family: when was he released? With this crazy new reporting taxes law you could end up lost in jail for failing to list dirty underwear on your customs declaration

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John 1 year, 9 months ago

Police should have a list (inventory) of all persons being held in custody and available at all police stations. Updated every 8 hours. The right to hold persons in custody does not forgo the police responsibility to be accountable.

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licks2 1 year, 9 months ago

Why not have a list of all "potential" offenders in this nation. . .updated every two hours so that we can always be on top of crime as a national crime prevention program. The right to feel safe in our homes forgoes the right to be innocent and free from state oppression!! Sounds stupid eh John? By the way. . .the police is not singular station command profile. . .they are central command model profile. . .this means all sub-command information move under flying seal into CenCom for processing on a 12 hours regiment!!

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John 1 year, 9 months ago

You sound retarded. Police stations are linked by internet. And how difficult is it to send emails twice a day from each station naming the persons they have in custody, along with date of birth and street address.

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TigerB 1 year, 9 months ago

Law suits after being held for more than 48 hours, ask Immigration.

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licks2 1 year, 9 months ago

Held for 48 hours. . .WITHOUT. . .charge. . . or if they need to hold after 48 hours. . .a judge must give permission to do so.

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John 1 year, 9 months ago

With the current crime situation, the police need the confidence and support of the general public. But when they (police and Ministry of National Security) choose to be unaccountable and a secret organization unto themselves and when the public becomes aware of young men being held illegally in police custody and losing their jobs because of it and other young men, albeit innocent, also taken into custody and severely and brutally beaten, it becomes a three way battle. If police must damage of injure or otherwise violate the rights of 12 innocent yourng men and, in some cases, also infringe of the rights and privacy of their families to solve one crime then the country may as well let crime and criminals run rampant. Because in those instances the police is doing more harm and damage to society than the criminals. And the new trend now is after abusing and after torturing these individuals, they charge them with ‘assaulting a police officer ‘, to avoid any backlash. The crime element cannot be cleaned up with police officers acting outside the law. They just become another big, violent gang in uniform.

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licks2 1 year, 9 months ago

STICK TO FACTS AND JUST LEAVE YA "EDITORIALIZING" TO YASEF!! Now contribute to the topic at hand. . .

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DDK 1 year, 9 months ago

John did contribute to the "topic at hand", rather well I thougt...

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TheMadHatter 1 year, 9 months ago

Licks2...can you grant me a visa to come live in the wonderful world you have inside your head? It sounds like a dreamy and tranquil place. Im ready to pack my bags.

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