THERE comes a moment when political rivalries must be set aside – and the news that former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham has COVID-19 is one such moment.
Just as when PLP leader Philip “Brave” Davis contracted the virus, we hope that all sides unite to pray for a speedy recovery.
It is another reminder, were it needed, that COVID-19 can affect anyone in our society. It plays no favourites.
The good news is that Mr Ingraham’s doctors hope the worst is behind him.
He remains in a critical care area in Doctors Hospital, but he is said to be “showing various signs of improvement and we fully expect him to improve and ultimately be discharged in a few days”.
Mr Ingraham is now aged 73, and was admitted to hospital on Tuesday after his condition worsened, having been diagnosed last week. His age places him in a higher risk category – so it is good news that he is showing signs of recovery.
We have heard often that the virus can affect anyone, rich or poor, in any part of society – and it has affected a number of top officials already.
Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis has even had to enter quarantine – which shows that even with the abundance of precautions taken for our leadership, this virus can find a way.
So whatever the colour of your political allegiance – whether your campaign shirt is red or yellow or green, we hope you will say a prayer for Mr Ingraham’s recovery.
He is not the only one battling this virus – with former Health Minister Dr Duane Sands revealing last night that three people are in intensive care. Spare a prayer for each of those too – and long for the day when we can all put this virus behind us.
Answers over shootings
At the end of last year in this column, we talked about the need for clarity over police shootings. It is sad to report that we must return to the topic again after the fatal shooting of Rashad Laroda on Tuesday night.
The police reported from the scene to give their view of events – and the sister of Mr Laroda has now questioned that version.
She said: “My brother was on his way home to his family not doing anything – they killed him for nothing.”
Mr Laroda has a history of court cases – which of course does not mean he was doing anything wrong on Tuesday – but his sister said that “nothing ever held up in court”.
One of those charges saw Mr Laroda accused of attempting to murder two police officers.
An officer in Tuesday’s shooting was wearing a body cam, it is reported, and police on the scene suggested that might be made available. We would expect that it should, to clarify events.
The crucial thing that police said on the scene is that the coroner was called and would handle the investigation – and more than clarity, action is needed even more.
Inquests appear to have stalled in the past year with the court slowdown because of COVID-19, and it is hugely important that such cases get back underway.
Without answers, suspicions linger. There have been a considerable number of police shootings – and each may be justified. In calling in the coroner and ensuring body cam footage is reviewed, police are taking the right steps in the aftermath of the shooting – but that next step, the coroner’s investigation and any subsequent court proceedings, is where the system has come to a stop right now.
An old legal maxim is that justice delayed is justice denied, but it is worse than that. It denies justice to family members seeking answers – and it also undermines faith in the police as long as suspicion lingers.
These matters need to be resolved – for all our sakes.