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‘Assault Officers Must Be Punished’

By RIEL MAJOR

Tribune Staff Reporter

rmajor@tribunemedia.net

Rights Bahamas has called for an independent body to investigate allegations of police brutality and misconduct following the alleged assault of two young women by police in Exuma on Sunday.

In a statement Rights Bahamas demanded a full, aggressive and transparent investigation be carried out immediately. 

“In recent weeks, there has been a highly concerning spike in the number of allegations of police brutality and misconduct in The Bahamas. This comes on the heels of a widely circulated and very alarming voice note, in which a retired Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) officer claimed that misconduct, beatings, forced confessions and perjury have been a pervasive and commonplace for years at all levels of the force,” the statement read.

“(This week) Rights Bahamas received photos and voice notes of yet another case of alleged police brutality that occurred on Exuma. The information suggests that two young ladies were severely beaten by a high-ranking officer during a traffic stop. The incident allegedly left the women’s bodies riddled with bruises and lacerations. One had her eyelid torn open. We have also heard reports that the other officers used violence against the other passengers of the vehicle, to the extent that both needed medical attention.” 

The statement added: “The officer in question must be relieved of duty until the results of the investigation and if found culpable, arrested and charged with assault. The police are warned not to employ the usual tactic of charging the victims with some spurious crime, in an effort to simply make the matter go away.” 

Rights Bahamas stated the world is watching including its international partners - Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

“We take any and all reports of human rights abuses very seriously and document each and every case into our international database. In 2018, we logged nearly 250 complaints against police officers,” the statement read. 

“...We also call on the commissioner of police to turn the findings of all such investigations over to the Director of Public Prosecutions. In a county that prides itself on being transparent and fair, we trust that in cases where officers are found to be acting outside the laws of the Bahamas that charges be filed against them and that they will face disciplinary actions if found guilty.”

Rights Bahamas stated the group will fully investigate the recent alleged police brutality and document all findings into its international database. 

“A copy of the same will be forwarded to the commissioner of police, the Corruption and Complaints Division of the Royal Bahamas Police Force, and the media.”

On Tuesday, Minister of National Security Marvin Dames spoke about the allegations. He pledged to make public the findings of an investigation into the incident, adding there will be no “cover-up” if officers are found culpable of wrong doing.

He also said a team was dispatched Exuma and started investigations almost immediately into the matter.

Comments

licks2 1 month, 1 week ago

Dumb peoples dem. . .if ya don't trust the Police's word. . .DO YA OWN INVESTIGATIONS!! I agree that them officers should be placed on "desk jockey" duties until the investigations are over. . .but Rights Bahamas needs to be less "stupid" in how they approach everything. . .ACTING LIKE PEOPLE DEM DON'T DO NONSENSE WHEN POLICE PULL THEM OVER!!! For example, the driver says: "I guess she missed and hit the officer when she mussie was kicking up"!! Yea right. . .missed and mussie? Child please. . .sound to me that dem car load of peoples dem started fighting the Police dem and get they tail whooped!! Common sense will tell ya that dem Police een ger "tear-up" dem girls tails and den take dem to the doctor only to provide ample evidence that they beat dem up!! That don't make sense!! SO I WOULD ADVISE RIGHTS BAHAMAS TO CHILL AND DO THEIR HOMEWORK BEFORE THEY GO OFF HALF COCKED LIKE A BUNCHA STUPID PEOPLES DEM!!

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John 1 month, 1 week ago

So you don’t mind the police punching up your mother or grandmother or sister or any female in y’all family? You must have on big panties.

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John 1 month, 1 week ago

When people say some of the crime in this country is driven by the actions (or inaction)of the police, many will scream ‘o you bashing the police!’ But even in the absence of all information, how can one justify the police beating two females in this fashion? And if it is your mother or sister or wife or daughter or cousin even , it will make you mad and feel the need to retaliate. Your manhood dictates that you protect the woman in your family even from an overzealous bastard wearing a police or law enforcement uniform. And so these actions breed criminal behavior.

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