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Attorney Unhappy Client Is Held After Protest

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The statue of Christopher Columbus in front of Government House.

By TANYA SMITH-CARTWRIGHT

tsmith-cartwright@tribunemedia.net

AN attorney has decried the arrest of her client who held a two man protest in Rawson Square and outside Government House, saying his rights are being violated.

Paul Rolle was arrested on Tuesday after video circulated online of him in front of Christopher Columbus’ statue outside Government House. In the video Mr Rolle, who said he is with Coalition to Save The Bahamas, said the group was fighting against “injustice against all people of colour around the world.”

Holding a chain in his hands, Mr Rolle, who was standing next to another man, said tomorrow the group will remove the Columbus statue as well as the statue of Queen Victoria from Rawson Square which they view as symbols of oppression.

On Tuesday, Commissioner of Police Paul Rolle warned Mr Rolle not to go ahead with any action in Rawson Square or in front of Government House in the coming days, adding that his prior request to protest had been denied.

Yesterday, attorney Maria Daxon demanded her client be released from “unlawful custody”. Mr Rolle, she said, is being held for trespassing at the Wulff Road Police Station.

“He has the right to freedom of speech and the freedom of movement,” Ms Daxon said.

“They cannot restrict those points at all, but they decided to lock him up, because he is Black. We are allowed to walk and stand on the sidewalk without interference. That is considered to be a public place. You cannot trespass in a public place. They have locked him up without basis and it is unlawful.

“The charge is unlawful, first of all. What is happening is that he went to Parliament Square and also in the front of Government House to protest for the statues of Queen Victoria and Columbus to be taken down. They decided to lock him up for trespassing.”

At approximately 3.30 pm, at the time of her interview with The Tribune, Ms Daxon said her client was still in custody without any word of his release from police.

“At this hour my client is still in custody,” she informed. “We are trying to find out why he has not been released. I spoke to the superintendent at the Wulff Road Station and he told me he was going to get back to me from this morning and nothing has happened.

“Several attorneys have contacted me,” she continued. “I have a team of lawyers ready to help. They have committed to assisting me. One of these attorneys sent me a video of a white man protesting in front of Parliament and none of the officers said anything to him. He had a sign up and no one locked him up. Do you see what’s going on here? The white man was carrying (on) bad and no one stopped him.”

Ms Daxon, a former police officer, is puzzled about why the other man in her client’s video protest was not arrested along with him.

“Why wasn’t the other man in the video not locked up?” she asked. “Why only my client is locked up? An officer asked me the same question. Shouldn’t the two of them be in custody if they were together and doing the same thing?”

Ms Daxon said she was going to see her client after 5pm yesterday and was hopeful she would have some answers about his release then.

Comments

tell_it_like_it_is 3 weeks, 5 days ago

Yes, Minnis certainly trying to run a dictatorship and this new commissioner of police is no better!!! It doesn't make sense for this man to be locked up.
Covid19 has revealed a lot of things about this government and most are not good at all.

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ThisIsOurs 3 weeks, 5 days ago

huh? exactly what was he arrested for?

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tribanon 3 weeks, 5 days ago

Being videoed carrying a chain. LOL

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licks2 3 weeks, 5 days ago

Yinna really does play stupid for real now!! Where in the Bahamas will a person get locked up for carrying a chain? Or like the lawyer said: "for being black"!!

My my my my. . .when my people them will stop being so dang childish and "one-eyed"? The lawyer said that one white man was there too and did not get locked-up!! She wanted to know why! Could it be that that white man "complied" with law?? That's one ting that could go a long way in keeping a black man outta jail. . .for a white man as well!! Wait and lets see what they charge his negro self with. . .something the Caucasian was not doing!! Acting the fool while black!!

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geostorm 3 weeks, 4 days ago

Lolololol...well he gets the weekend to see what acting the fool while black does for him!

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Baha10 3 weeks, 5 days ago

Note this Joker was arrested not for trespass, much less the color of his skin, but rather only “after” posting a Video OnLine inciting riot and destruction of state property. Hopefully 30 days at Fox Hill will cure him of promoting such lawlessness in the future ... and as for his Lawyer, clearly “the Law” is not a good profession for her given one must first understand it in order to practice it.

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bahamianson 3 weeks, 5 days ago

Hold on , if I am not mistaken, the so called White man spent 7 hours locked up.So it may be a misrepresentation of the truth to say nothing happened to him. So , I guess your white argument has to be thrown out. So much for the race card. Opportunity knocks.

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mandela 3 weeks, 5 days ago

The worst thing for any self-imposed authority is to be lawfully challenged.

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TalRussell 3 weeks, 5 days ago

I've given up on The Queen coming to our rescue. The only hope now that the red coats think Freedom is something the PopoulacesOrdinary at large has to ask them permission for - the new Chief Justice Comrade Brian is our last Conchy Joe, hope. Nod Once for Yeah, Twice for No?

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truetruebahamian 3 weeks, 4 days ago

Well, these two guys are definitely symbols of both ignorance and stupidity. If they harm either of these venerable statues, they are only proving that as fact.

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GodSpeed 3 weeks, 4 days ago

Looks like Bahamians are starting to eat up all this race baiting nonsense happening in the US, copy the states in everything lol. Pull down the statue and you're still broke, not gonna change. Go get a job.

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