ENGLERSTON MP Glenys Hanna Martin. (File photo)
By FARRAH JOHNSON
ENGLERSTON MP Glenys Hanna Martin criticised the amount of time it took for National Security Minister Marvin Dames to respond to the viral police beating videos.
In a statement yesterday, Mrs Hanna Martin called the “lapse in response” unacceptable.
“It has taken the minister of national security just about a week to comment, and it seems only through media prompting, on the shocking images which have gone viral of violent encounters between members of the RBPF and private citizens at the recent New Year’s Day Junkanoo Parade,” a statement from the MP read.
“This lapse in response is telling and certainly not acceptable in light of the serious questions being raised nationally and the widespread controversy which has erupted as to the propriety and legality of police actions.”
Mrs Hanna Martin said Mr Dames should be mindful of the fact that the Bahamian people hold him accountable and expect him to be “aggressive and transparent” while ensuring that the public’s “civil liberties” are not violated by officers.
“Despite the proclamations by the minister as to what will and will not be tolerated the Bahamian people will be watching and waiting for the outcome of the investigation announced by the commissioner of police,” the statement noted.
“We will also expect to hear articulation of a clear policy on the strategies and tactics that were deployed as shown in those videos.”
Last week, a series of videos showing members of the Royal Bahamas Police Force beating civilians with night sticks at the 2020 New Year’s Junkanoo Parade went viral on social media.
On Sunday, Mr Dames cautioned police officers to never mistreat or abuse civilians, as officers who “violate their oath of office” will “continue to be relentlessly pursued” by the powers that be. The Mount Moriah MP, speaking during the Royal Bahamas Police Force’s annual church service, said the government will not “condone” any law enforcement officer “acting outside his or her authority”.
He further charged that the country’s law enforcement agencies have “no room” for rogue officers who not only “betray the public trust”, but put their lives and the lives of their colleagues in “grave risk”.