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Police Call 911 For Suspect ‘Beaten’ In Custody

The suspect is helped to a waiting ambulance in a still from the video.

The suspect is helped to a waiting ambulance in a still from the video.

Video

Suspect helped to ambulance

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

EMERGENCY medical services were called to the Central Detective Unit of the Royal Bahamas Police Force yesterday to help a man who was allegedly beaten in custody, according to his lawyer Christina Galanos.

Ms Galanos recorded a four-second video showing the man, bent over in distress, being taken into an ambulance outside CDU. 

The attorney, who believes her client was beaten to make a confession, declined to reveal the identity of the man.

This is the latest allegation of beatings in police custody. Criminal lawyers insist it is a chronic problem and they are upset by the way law enforcement, political and judicial officials have traditionally handled the issue. 

For his part, Chief Superintendent Solomon Cash, head of the Central Detective Unit, said officers told him the suspect experienced a medical issue and required attention. He said he was not aware of any accusation of police brutality. 

Ms Galanos said: “I was hired to see a client at CDU. I went there around 11am. While waiting on him I was reliably informed by an inside source that he was beaten and that they called the ambulance for him. I was called on the outside by ASP Cox and he told me my client is ‘complaining of shortness of breath and we called the ambulance for him.’ I said ‘okay Officer Cox, why is he complaining of shortness of breath?’ (He said) ‘I can’t say, I just know the man is complaining of shortness of breath.’

“The ambulance came and I recorded them escorting my client out to the ambulance. It looked to me that something happened to him and police are now trying to cover it up and do their usual evasive talk and evasive dance.”

The video does not show a front view of the man, but Ms Galanos said her client was holding his face, crying and shaking his head while looking on the ground.

Ms Galanos said her source did not say why her client was allegedly beaten. “What I can say,” she said, “is that nine times out of ten, most every time a client has complained to me about being beaten, it had to do with a confession, or if not a confession (police) feel a person knows about the crime and they are trying to get the person to call a name of someone.

“I’ve been concerned about this for years now,” she said. “What we see happening as criminal defence attorneys is very often these matters are coming before the court with confessions only. It cuts both ways. Let’s say the man truly is guilty, but was beaten to confess and in the case of my client I got on video that he was taken by way of ambulance so the judge may throw out the confession. What you may have is a guilty man may walk on a murder charge because some police officer abused his powers. What I’m more concerned about are the people who are innocent. They are beaten and made to confess and when it goes up to trial they may not have any injuries or their injuries aren’t significant enough for a judge to throw a matter out and and most juries don’t know anything about the legal system and how the police operate, so they may well convict on this confession. So what you have now is an innocent man who was beaten by police to confess, now convicted of a serious crime. This is why I think it’s important to sensitise the public on these issues.”

Top police officials have yet to speak substantively on recent allegations of police brutality. Last month, Shavar Bain Sr, a man whose son was kidnapped, alleged CDU officers beat him to confess to a scheme to kidnap his son. Deputy Commissioner of Police Emrick Seymour could not update this newspaper on the investigation into that incident last week, saying it is ongoing.

The Tribune reported recently the allegations of three people who claim CDU officers tortured them for confessions in Eleuthera last year before releasing them without charge. They said they were handcuffed and fish-bagged until they could not breathe. They filed a complaint with the Complaints and Corruption Unit of the RBPF, but police took more than a year to get back to them, then told them that the time for their complaint to be addressed had expired.

Last week, a US human rights report on the Bahamas noted that the Police Complaints Inspectorate, which should oversee the Complaints and Corruption Unit to ensure impartial investigations into allegations against police, has not had a meeting in almost two years. National Security Minister Marvin Dames has not appointed anyone to the body even though the Police Act mandates that the inspectorate be constituted. 

Comments

Well_mudda_take_sic 1 year, 6 months ago

The seeds of a police state. Thank you Papa Doc Minnis.

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rawbahamian 1 year, 6 months ago

So I guess a state run and ruled is better huh

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DDK 1 year, 6 months ago

Bunch of thugs! It all starts at the top. Lack of rectification of this sad and serious problem is the same as complicity.

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licks2 1 year, 6 months ago

Do you know what the word "alleged" means?? The man did not say that the police beat him. . .the lawyer said: "I believe that they beat him to get a confession" . That lawyer is quite known for making outrageous statements in public that a good lawyer should not make in the face of no evidence!! She and we should wait and hear what the victim says. . .he may have decide to "play" sick to get out of CDU!! She and you should wait and see what the doctors says about the condition.

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John 1 year, 6 months ago

All of these illegal, atrocious violation of freedom and human rights actions by the police have the signatures of Hubert Minnis, Meltdown Marvin and Anthony ‘cane toad’ Ferguson under them as long as they sit on their hands and allow these, mostly untrained barbaric officers to continue to afflict pain and torture on citizens without even restraint, unless the victims die in their hands. And they go home to their wives and children pretending to be keepers and upholders of the law knowing that they left people in cells somewhere grasping for breath or barely clinging to life. And for some of them it is the highlight of their day. More than a job but a secret self fulfilling fantasy to wreak pain and suffering on another individual. A human being who to this point is still innocent and may not even be fully suspect of a crime. Or at least not one as horrific as the beating officers are about to meet out. To beat them half to death or in some instances, even to death, wash their hands and go home . But only until another shift starts and another set of victims are brought in. Nothing to restrain them, because there is no consequences to their actions and a bothersome conscience can be cures with a few drinks or even that joint he just beat that young boy half to death for having in his possession. And Hitler sent them to the showers and gassed them to death!

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 year, 6 months ago

Did you remember to take your meds? If not, please do so before you blow a gasket.

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John 1 year, 6 months ago

You are a perversion to sanity.

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hrysippus 1 year, 6 months ago

Hey mudda, your comment would be so much funnier if it was not so true. Another sad in Paradise for us all but most especially for this young man. it is a good thing that we have a free and relatively fearless media to report these incidents of state sponsored abuse.

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licks2 1 year, 6 months ago

A media that will not go and do clean research. . .they just talk nonsense. . . now I hope when the doctors finish with this case and they all are seen for the rush to judgement foolishness, they will give the police a public apology!!

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tell_it_like_it_is 1 year, 6 months ago

Didn't the commissioner say last week to "trust the police".
How is that working out so far?

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John 1 year, 6 months ago

Just how the police request millions of dollars each year to buy vehicles and equipment, they must invest in Human Resources and send officers to get proper training in crime investigation and interrogation. And no genuine effort to fight crime will be effective until this illegal and barbaric behavior is stopped. And just how ordinary citizens and politicians are brought before the courts to answer for their actions, so will the police be made to answer along with those who are in charge of them and allow this behavior.

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DDK 1 year, 6 months ago

Quite right, but where in the world would they go for their training? Certainly not across the small pond! Probably best to bring in decent law enforcement folk to train them on their own turf.

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licks2 1 year, 6 months ago

What behaviour?? There in lays your dilemma. . . you don't know a damn thing. . .yet you prescribe draconian measures for "rid us" of the police. . .so no sane civilization can listen to you. . . because in your world. . .these lil cold blooded killers DO NOT have the wherewithal to lie about the police beating them. . .even in the face of medical evidence to the contrary. . .to fight going to jail for their crimes!!

I wonder if you are aware that if any force is used against the human body medical doctors can tell? I would also agree that techniques like water-boarding will not show. . .force that will make that man doubled over like in the picture will leave psychical traces in the body!

And yes. . .the police can be brought before a court. . .BUT YOU MUST BRING EVIDENCE TO GET THAT DONE. . .the world knows what seem like only you one DON'T HAVE CLUE ABOUT. . .CRIMINALS LIE TOO. . .so much the more to get out of going to jail for their crimes!!

So when you have two components. . .both quite capable of telling lies. . .both with opposite information about the same incident. . .THE COMMON SENSE APPROACH IS TO DIG DEEPER FOR THE CORRECT INFORMATION. . .NOT A JACK TAIL "TWO FOOTS" DIVE INTO THE MIDDLE AND SAY ONE SIDE IS TELLING THE TRUTH AND THE OTHER LIES!! That is too unreliable. . .you are more likely to let the guilty good. . .especially if he/she "looks" innocent!!

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ThisIsOurs 1 year, 6 months ago

If the PLP were in power you would be screaming bloody murder. Because nothing has changed. Put some cameras in every area where they keep or interview prisoners so no one can falsely blame them of abuse.

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licks2 1 year, 6 months ago

THEY ALREADY HAVE THEM CAMERAS THEM. . .SO i WOULD THINK IF THEM POLICE PEOPLE WANT TO BEAT YA. . .DON'T YA THINK THEM ER MOVE YA FROM WHERE THE CAMERA DEM IS?? False claims are as old as man. . .

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ThisIsOurs 1 year, 6 months ago

I said in "every" area where they keep or interview prisoners. There is a science to camera placement, you walk out of view of one camera the next one picks you up. Clearly they have some pretty big blind spots. One man missing and others dead.

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GeeWhiz 1 year, 6 months ago

We do not know if the allegations are true. I pray that it is not. But this blame cannot be placed on the current government. This has been going on for years. The police officers in this country need proper training on how to investigate and handle matters without beatings and other forms of coercion. We also need magistrates and judges who will throw out cases where it is seen that the confessions were coerced due to beatings. We need defendants and medical personnel brave enough to testify against the officers and lawyers brave enough to defend them. We need lawsuits, lawsuits and more lawsuits with hefty payouts to send a very strong message to the police force. It has to stop now.

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DDK 1 year, 6 months ago

In A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State, John W. Whitehead charts America's transition from a society governed by "we the people" to a police state governed by the strong arm of the law. In such an environment, the law becomes yet another tool to oppress the people. As a constitutional attorney of national prominence, and as president of The Rutherford Institute, an international civil liberties organization, Whitehead has been at the forefront of the fight for civil liberties in this country. The recurring theme at the heart of A Government of Wolves is that the American people are in grave danger of losing their basic freedoms. The simple fact is that the Constitution - and in particular the Bill of Rights - is being undermined on virtually every front. Indeed, everything America was founded upon is in some way being challenged. The openness and freedom that were once the hallmarks of our society are now in peril. We were once a society that valued individual liberty and privacy. But in recent years we have turned into a culture that has quietly accepted surveillance cameras, police and drug-sniffing dogs in our children's schools, national databases that track our finances and activities, sneak-and-peek searches of our homes without our knowledge or consent, and anti-terrorism laws that turn average Americans into suspects. In short, America has become a lockdown nation, and we are all in danger. A Government of Wolves not only explains these acute problems but is a call to action offering timely and practical initiatives for Americans to take charge of present course of history and stop the growing police state. But time is running out. We are at critical juncture and every citizen who values his or her personal freedom needs to pay close attention to the message in this book! THINK PERHAPS WE SHOULD TAKE A PAGE FROM THIS EXCERPT.

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Gotoutintime 1 year, 6 months ago

Quite true what she is saying---There is no way a sensible person is going to admit to a crime unless he is beaten. Many times the prosecution comes into Court with no evidence other that a confession. I guess it saves a lot on investigation time!!

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John 1 year, 6 months ago

So you continue to kill four innocent to find one guilty?

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licks2 1 year, 6 months ago

So our judges are a buncha dime wits. . .including the Privy Council? Many of cases we have where our boys say them was beaten to get information. . .yet they can take the Police to collect all the other needed evidences. . .including dead body. Balance people. . .stupidity gets us nowhere. In my younger days I say two people lie under lie detectors tests. . .it was in our young "whipper snappers" days. . .we worked for the same international company. . .the two persons lied and were cool as cucumbers. . .let off scott free. . .lie detectors could not detect their untruths!! Now you may ask. . .how did you know they were guilty. . .I saw them with the items. . .even though the investigators did not have evidence to hold them guilty. . .especially in face of the lie detector information. . .they were pronounced not guilty!

But even though I could not prove they had the items. . .I SAW THEM TOOK THE ITEMS FROM THE BUILDING!!

Yet I could not say they stole them. . .I had no evidence!! Plus they beat the detector tests!!

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Rinks 1 year, 6 months ago

This has been going on for far to long in this country.the judges and politicians dont care about this problem. Poorly trained uneducated officers unleashed upon the bahamian public.6 months of basic training at most does not make a police officer and for the most part there superiors dont see any thing wrong with this behavior because they have done the same thing.To top it off they beat you half to death and want you the public to support them afterwards.

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bogart 1 year, 6 months ago

UNFAIR.....,!!!.....NOT DA WESTMINISTER SYSTEM...!!!!!!.......WHY DIS SEEMS TO BE AFFECTED.........ON WE DA PORE LOW PEOPLE.........AN..AN.....NEVER SAMENESS NEVER SEEMS HAD ON ....CHARGED...ELITES...AFFLUENTS......MUCK A MUKS....PROFESSIONALS....???????????

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TheMadHatter 1 year, 6 months ago

The US should help us to staff and build a large more moden prison system with proper monitoring and visits by international human rights groups.

They could do this easily by charging a 10% "Export Tax" on all good leaving the US en route to the Bahamas via ship, cargo plane, or even personally.

Do this for one year, save the money on our behalf for one year and the bring in a US contractor to do the work.

Yes prices will go up in our markets, but then what is the cost of freedom and democracy? Priceless.

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John 1 year, 6 months ago

Very idiotic statement. What does building a larger, more modern prison have to do with police brutality? Maybe if the police were not so brutal there would be no need for a bigger prison. Maybe some go there to avoid the police. Maybe that’s why the rate of recidivism is so high, as is the brain drain as persons of means move to get away from crime and now the police? Surely Marvin Dames and Anthony Ferguson must have the capacity to sit and think of the long term effects of this police behavior. But maybe it’s all inter-related: with the new bail act, bail has to be applied for in the Supreme Court. So the police beats a confession out of an individual and takes them before the courts. So they have a choice to plead guilty and get a light sentence or sit in jail while the bail application is made. So after the police beating and everything else, they chose to plead guilty to get it all behind them. So in a few short years there is a high percentage of the population who have criminal records. They cannot travel and they cannot work on certain jobs. Their lives are now restricted. Isn’t this the same thing they did on the ‘war on drugs ‘ when they tried to lock up and criminalize all the young, black men?

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DDK 1 year, 6 months ago

"Surely Marvin Dames and Anthony Ferguson must have the capacity to sit and think of the long term effects of this police behaviour." If you say so, John. To have this capacity they would actually have to care!

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bogart 1 year, 6 months ago

In the year of police report review last year complaints against police was some 245.....das like 245/52 weeks = 4.7 complaints per week....and crime has been statistically down arresting Tourism outside negative warnings. In all fairness jus like many complaints...alleged "beatings" on we young pore.....it is unfair.....as no such "beatings" seems to happen on arrested ...rich old culprits....!!!!!!!!....

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CaptainCoon 1 year, 6 months ago

Monkeys and baboons running this country. Like a band of thugs and savage apes. SAD!

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Sickened 1 year, 6 months ago

The first thing any judge should ask the prosecuting lawyer in any court case is "Does this person have any gang tattoos?" If yes, then any police beating confession is admissible. If the child's parents didn't bring this child up right then the police should do it.

Cold, I know.

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Sickened 1 year, 6 months ago

I don't know how defense lawyers sleep knowing that most of their clients are guilty but got off on a technicality. Do you think they ever sit with the police or prosecutors after a case and tell them what they did wrong so that the next criminal can be put behind bars??

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ThisIsOurs 1 year, 6 months ago

Defense attorneys arent there to get guilty people off. Theyre there to ensure their clients are treated fairly, like not being beaten in jail. And Innocent people get jailed too.

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TheMadHatter 1 year, 6 months ago

Correct. It is amazing how many people think that someone found "not guilty" scammed the system to "get away with their crime."
Amazing as in amazingly ignorant. Maybr we could reduce the divorce rate by requiring all marriage license applications to be signed by a police officer. Since police officers are never wrong, surely they would know whether the marriage would last.

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jrh@jrhills.net 1 year, 6 months ago

How about video cameras recording all confessions? How about body cameras on the cops?

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