Elliot Lockhart at Exuma airport
By AVA TURNQUEST
Tribune Chief Reporter
FORMER Supreme Court justice and Exuma MP Elliot Lockhart has vowed to take the government to task after a video recording of him at an Exuma airport went viral.
In the video, Mr Lockhart gets into a brief argument with a police officer that escalates into a shouting match.
The 63-year-old QC explained to The Tribune the video was taken after he had gone through the metal detector for a third time and captures an exchange with security officials, whom he said were all familiar with him.
He admits that he had "one or two" drinks before heading to the airport, but attributed his loudness to hearing issues.
The former judge can be seen at a security checkpoint at the airport, and the recording begins as Mr Lockhart collects his personal items from the conveyor belt, having already gone through the metal detector.
Mr Lockhart said: "I was smoking grass since I came to Exuma, if you would like to know, now find it."
A female security officer asks jokingly whether Mr Lockhart has any substances on his person, to which he replied: "Never, never never."
A police officer steps forward to admonish Mr Lockhart, saying: "Sir, I think you're a little too old to be behaving like this."
Mr Lockhart then tells the officer repeatedly to "step down".
Mr Lockhart says: "I've been a lawyer for 40 years in this country, look, I have my driver's licence, I am in charge of the police complaints inspectorate. I look after guys like you."
The officer replies: "But you see how you acting. You acting immature, sir, you supposed to be a senior citizen, you supposed to be setting an example for persons like me, and you see how you carrying on."
Mr Lockhart says: "Do not cast your pearls among swine."
The encounter appears to escalate when the officer steps toward Mr Lockhart and places his hand on his arm, and asks him to lower his voice, to which Mr Lockhart demands he remove his hand.
The video ends as the officer backs away and Mr Lockhart collects his belongings and walks out of the security area.
When contacted about the incident, filmed more than a week ago, Mr Lockhart explained he had endured a long day of traversing the island in the aftermath of the Four C's boat explosion, which he described as a "serious tragedy".
Mr Lockhart said he had spent the day advising Four C's owner Patterson Smith and conducting interviews. He said he consumed "one or two" drinks with friends just before heading to the airport.
As a former judge, MP and QC, Mr Lockhart said he enjoyed wide support from the Exuma community and was surprised the video was posted online and was filmed inside a secure facility.
He explained the video shows him collecting his things after going through the metal detector and being unable to determine what was setting off the alarm.
"I know I didn't have a belt on because of this whole idea of going through security system. I went through screening on three separate occasions, the thing kept ringing off. I turn up my back pocket and it was my keys. So I was having fun with the girls on the front end of the security line, they all know me.
"I have a problem with hearing so difficulty controlling the volume of my voice, the officer felt I was being noisy so he came out trying to deal with me.
"Knowing my rights I pushed him to the limit, and had he put his hands on me the government would rue that day.
"But in the security area it is clear there should be no cameras," he said, "to my surprise I see this video. I'm a Bahamian, there are loads of unsolved crimes in Exuma - theft of boat engines, missing persons, put your energy into solving crime. But this joker comes up to me trying to make himself look big.
"My having gone through all that I went through earlier in the day with the suffering of those persons on this boat, the affects it will have on the Exuma community. I had the weight of the whole world on my shoulders and that was the straw that broke the camel's back.
"I'm still reflecting on what I suffered because this thing went viral from the authorities, so the authorities must take responsibility for it," Mr Lockhart said.