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Leading Us By Example: The Tribune Witnesses Police Officers Defying Restaurant Lockdown Rule

The scene outside the restaurant yesterday.

The scene outside the restaurant yesterday.

By TRIBUNE REPORTER

DESPITE Emergency Powers Orders that prohibit the opening of restaurants in New Providence, people - including Royal Bahamas Police Force officers - have been patronising a popular eatery on the island.

When The Tribune arrived at Getaway Restaurant and Lounge yesterday in the Golden Gates Plaza we witnessed police officers arriving at the eatery and leaving with bags of food.

Before this a police vehicle with several officers inside was seen leaving Gateway with food. At one point, The Tribune entered the local eatery and ordered several dishes and a few drinks which the employee was happy to serve.

The menu included fried pork chop, fried chicken, fish fingers either to be served with French fries or salad. Several dinners were also available. Liquor and other alcoholic beverages were also seen displayed on the restaurant’s wall.

photo

Outside the restaurant yesterday.

However, it is not clear whether the beverages were on sale.

Other patrons included men and women of different age groups.

A buzzer at the door, however, restricted how many people could enter the business at one time.

Some patrons happily exited the bar with several plates of food wrapped in clear plastic bags, while others had nothing to disguise their purchase from shoppers on the busy street.

Still, there were a few customers who brought their own ecofriendly bags to disguise their purchases. However, for the most part, customers appeared to be wearing a mask as they entered the business establishment.

Earlier this month, Dr Minnis announced a strict “two-week minimum” lockdown in the country, closing all non-essential businesses and restaurants in an effort to curb the rapid spread of COVID-19.

Apart from new Emergency Powers Orders making it illegal to open restaurants, the prime minister specifically said in his August 3, 2020 national address that “there will be no curbside takeaway dining or retail” other than what was mentioned for hardware stores.

Under the orders, people are allowed to access grocery stores and water depots during the lockdown only three days a week.

The businesses are open on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 7am to 5pm for the general public and Saturdays from 7am to 1pm for essential workers only.

Exemptions have since been made for Abaco and Grand Bahama due to ongoing reconstruction efforts on those islands. Normal commercial activity has also been resumed on Mayaguana, Inagua, Crooked Island, Acklins, Long Cay, Long Island, Rum Cay and Ragged Island.

Still, this is not the first time the prime minister has placed the country under a full lockdown and implemented the COVID-19 restrictions to contain the COVID threat.

However, the new measures seem to be stricter than previous lockdowns, as most of the commercial sector has been ordered shut. For example, takeaway and curbside dining has been prohibited as well as most of the retail sector, except for hardware stores.

Despite the restrictions, several businesses have still been found in breach of Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis’ COVID-19 orders.

In April, for example, businessman Jonathan Ash was fined $7,000 for selling alcohol at Made Men Sports Bar in breach of the emergency orders.

The 35-year-old pleaded guilty to the charges of violating the national curfew and operating a non-essential business.

At the time, Magistrate Rolle-Davis labelled his actions a “blatant disregard for the law”.

Comments

Lwells91 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Rules for thee, not for me. We live in a joke of a country/society. I urge anyone with half of a brain to make the proper arrangements to leave The Bahamas. I love my country but the WORST thing about it is the people. Their mentality and attitudes will be the downfall of this great nation.

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Lwells91 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Update Now having listened to the official statement and as someone who has spent time in incarceration. The lie that that food was being prepared for prisoners is an OUTRIGHT LIE!!!!

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thps 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Look at the bright side, maybe they received an exemption. You know those exemptions that allow the requestor to be open doing the same thing as others who are closed.

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truetruebahamian 6 months, 3 weeks ago

With Ash, it was NOT a law - to my understanding it was merely an 'executive' order. Please let's translate the strict meaning of each.

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hj 6 months, 3 weeks ago

In the meantime law abiding citizens will continue to suffer because lockdown is the only answer to the problem. Let me guess what is next. The matter will be under investigation,lockdown will continue,and we will wait the report of the economic recovery committee. NIB lines and especially soup kitchens lines will grow longer and longer. Join the line people. A man with a plan

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tribanon 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Anyone know who owns The Getaway Restaurant & Lounge in the Golden Gates Plaza?

Why has The Tribune concealed the name of the reporter who broke and wrote this story? Is it because The Tribune already knows who owns this rogue 'law & order' breaking establishment and the police protection the owner(s) receive?

Such a bold, brazen and defiant establishment likely has not paid any business license fees, assuming it even has a business license, or paid any of its required national insurance contributions for many years, if at all.

The Tribune is either consumed by fear or sorely lacking in investigative journalism skills - which is it? Readers have a right to know, especially given The Tribune's much touted Latin motto on its masthead, the English translation of which is: "Being Bound to Swear to The Dogmas of No Master".

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Clamshell 6 months, 3 weeks ago

They probably have concealed the reporter’s name to protect him/her from physical retribution from the police — especially since the police are known to shoot first and ask questions later.

I’d normally agree with you on the need for full disclosure — but in this case, I can see where there would be real fear for the reporter’s physical safety.

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tribanon 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Well, there goes The Tribune's ability to 'live or die' by its motto in reporting the news. Readers will now have to read every news story in an entirely different light, always being left to wonder what was suppressed from the story out of fear. And so much for free press in our country, period!

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Clamshell 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Uh ... they actually did report the news. They simply protected their reporter from physical danger through retribution by the police.

The violation of trust would have occurred if, out of fear, they decided not to publish the story at all. I’m often highly critical of this newspaper ... but not this time.

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tribanon 6 months, 3 weeks ago

And I suppose you believe The Tribune has a duty of trust born out of fear not to investigate and disclose who owns the Getaway Restaurant and Lounge in the Golden Gates Plaza?

From the standpoint of journalism ethics, The Tribune should not publish a news story unless it is prepared to name the writer/source of the story. In fact, whereas professional news reporters can lay claim to anonymous sources for their stories, only in very rare and under the most exceptional circumstances can they avail themselves of anonymity when publishing a news story they have written.

Lowering the bar in the way The Tribune has done creates too much room for potential abuse, both by the writers of news stories themselves and the editorial staff of The Tribune itself. Besides, I'm sure the owner(s) of the restaurant in question would have a legal right to know who wrote the story as would the police in the event of any legal action they might wish to pursue for reputational damages, etc.

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Clamshell 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Your lofty ideals for journalism would be defensible in a first-world society where the individual reporter would be relatively safe from fear of vengeance at the hands of the police. Sadly, we both know this is not true in the Bahamas in the year 2020.

The Tribune published the story, and The Tribune will stand by it as an institution. Every day of the week The New York Times, The Times of London, etc., all run unsigned editorials on their opinion page. Go look. This is no different.

If the owners of the restaurant care to sue, they are free to do so — but keep in mind, in any action of libel, truth is the ultimate and perfect defense. You can’t successfully sue a newspaper just because their story made you look bad. And there is NO legal or ethical requirement that the story carry a byline.

I’m beginning to believe that maybe YOU are the owner of the restaurant ... 🤣🤣😎

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tribanon 6 months, 3 weeks ago

In the case of a newspaper, an editorial by definition expresses the opinion of the newspaper's editors or publishers, i.e. the entire editorial staff of newspaper itself is the source/writer. That's quite different in professional journalism from a news story attributed by the newspaper to one of its news reporters on an anonymous basis. And believe me, I have no relationship whatsoever to that restaurant. LOL

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Clamshell 6 months, 3 weeks ago

OK, I believe ya ... 🤣🤣 ... I did +25 years as a writer and editor at a major daily U.S. newspaper. Many stories ran with no specific writer’s name attached, for many perfectly valid reasons — tho fear of having a cop kick the shyte out of ya would not have been among them, for us.

It was not at all uncommon or considered to be unprofessional. A reporter could request that their byline be withheld for any number of valid reasons. The byline would then simply read “Staff report” — similar to this case.

Again ... I am often critical of The Trib, but not in this instance ... I once saw some cops kick the tar out of a mentally ill guy for no reason. Scary guys.

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truetruebahamian 6 months, 3 weeks ago

As it is, there have been at least 10 cases reported of people leaving food stores with their just purchased groceries and before they can leave, they are blocked by another car - the last case the car's occupants were a woman and two men. They demand the groceries, take them and drive off leaving the purchaser traumatised and without the items that they waited in line for and for which they paid.

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bahamianson 6 months, 3 weeks ago

each officer should be fined to show that there is no favoritism . If people are getting tickets for no mask use , then they should be fined.

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Greentea 6 months, 3 weeks ago

But that will never happen and this is why the Bahamas is in the mess its in. Rules only apply to some.- That never works.

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tribanon 6 months, 3 weeks ago

It remains to be seen whether Minister Dames and Police Commissioner Rolle will be wrongfully allowing the owners of this eating and drinking establishment to getaway with having defied the lockdown orders. Pun fully intended. Or will we find out that Minnis wrongfully granted an exemption to the owner(s) of this business establishment, thereby once again demonstrating his propensity to illegally determine the winners and losers in our society today?

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mandela 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Why are they blocking the policeman's face? if that was a civilian they would not have blocked the face out and what's going on with the body and dash cameras which were supposed to come into effect August 1st, these are some of the reasons why the average citizen has no respect for and do not trust or like the police. The tribune is nothing but a big scary cat they are fake, if the PM is caught doing wrong he should also be called out, NO-ONE should be above the law. The poor, unemployed, break and the hungry person is locked up, paraded in front of the camera and fined just for trying to survive ( looking for food and water ) and the protected are shielded and have their faces blocked out. The Bahamas will never be a first world country as long as we have third world thinkers and leaders. The outside world looks at us as a corrupt D-average banana boat third world s$$t-hole just looking for the right price to be sold. Waiting but not holding my breath to hear Mr Police Commissioner and Mr Defence Mimister's response

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bogart 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Kudos and thank you to the front line job of Reporter(s) or contributors for the revealing story of GROSS blatant evident disobedience of national emergency rules in crises of increasing no disease vaccine killing disease for deathly world wide Covid. Now another gate opens to life threatening concerns of persons from site now going back into community and also National Police Workplace and mingling with co-workers from office to office.

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birdiestrachan 6 months, 3 weeks ago

The police have to eat. Who knows they might have been given a free meal,

LET Them eat.

All this D grade crap. must give some a superior delusion.

Because one has a D Grade . does not mean that D graders do not have brilliance in other arrears.

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tribanon 6 months, 3 weeks ago

So who decides which restaurants are 'favoured' for patronizing by the police? Sounds like more unconstitutional cherry picking by government of the 'winners' in our society today. But then again you would know all about wrongfully cherry picking the 'winners' given that you're a diehard PLP supporter always posting F- grade crapola to this website.

The police can buy their own food to eat at the food store like the rest of us, even perishable food on those days of the week when the food stores are open and they are on duty. Besides, not eating so much is probably a good thing for many of the more obese police officers.

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proudloudandfnm 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Wow.

You make it so easy.....

Muddos....

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TalRussell 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Why pretend act out be shocked when catching the constabulary defying Mr. Theodore Minnis's restaurant lockdown law when you never raise an eyebrow when the same constabulary is arresting and placing by the hundreds before the Central Authorities hired-gun judges who are taking the groceries money right out pockets the done financially strapped to pay up to $5,000 in unconstitutional court fines enacted by the 35 House-elected red coat MP's, and politically appointed Senators. Nod Once for Yeah, Twice for No?

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Kalikgold 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Listen, do what as I say and NOT as I do! Or else!!

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birdiestrachan 6 months, 3 weeks ago

There was no outcry when the PM had a kodak moment sandwiched between two men masked dropped. with whisky glasses on the table. and he appeared to be wet right up.

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Clamshell 6 months, 3 weeks ago

So that justifies what happened here? Or any other repugnant behavior? Really? Spare me.

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Hoda 6 months, 3 weeks ago

I love when yall pick and choose the parts of the article to take note of. The police shouldnt be there nor the private citizen. So when they raid the place, i hope yall advocate for the owner, police and the citizen to be fined and their porkchop dinner confiscated and given to a homeless person.

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thps 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Rather a full line by line analysis of the article?

The highlight of the story is the police as the headline and photo, 1st 2nd, and 3rd lines, and the focus of the story is.

No one walks out of a movie and say, "I know Morgan Freeman was funny but what do you think about those hilarious extras"

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tribanon 6 months, 3 weeks ago

My mouth is watering. It has been a long time since I've had a good pork chop dinner, or any dinner for that matter, from a restaurant.

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tribanon 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Government's Official VAT Register shows the Taxpayer Identification Number for the Getaway Restaurant & Lounge (TIN # 100049134) is registered to Mrs Angela Camille Johnson.

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