Video shows Adderley lunged at RBPF officer


Tribune Staff Reporter


BODY camera footage of the fatal police-involved shooting of Royal Bahamas Defence Force leading seaman Rodney Adderley, Jr, showed the marine lunged at an officer before he was shot.

The footage was shown at the inquest into his death, which began in the Coroner’s Court yesterday, with acting Coroner Kara Turnquest-Deveaux presiding. A five-person jury was empanelled to make a finding after police shot Adderley, 39, on January 10, 2022. 

K Melvin Munroe represents Corporal Rashad Pratt, the officer whose actions are the subject of the inquest. Bjorn Ferguson represents the deceased’s estate.

 Inspector Deon Rudon, the system administrator of the police body cams, showed footage from CPL Pratt’s body cam, which showed the officer approaching the deceased’s silver coloured Mazda Demio as he was parked in a vacant lot on Dunmore Avenue near Strachan Street west. The lights of the officer’s marked police car flashed in the clip. 

 Cpl Pratt approached the car with his gun drawn and ordered Adderley to get out of the car.

 Although the deceased hesitated, he initially complied with the officer’s demands and placed his hands on the hood of the car. 

 After Cpl Pratt circled the vehicle, he searched the deceased and pulled out his wallet from his right pocket.

 While the officer looked at the man’s ID, Adderley lunged towards him, seemingly trying to grab his weapon. The officer then ran back shouting for Adderley to “get back”.

 While trying to evade the advancing Defence Force officer, he opened fire at him, causing him to fall to the ground. 

 In his call to dispatch after the shooting, Cpl Pratt said the deceased was reaching for his gun. 

 In the aftermath of the shooting, Adderley’s body bled while he lay facedown in the sand in a black coloured shirt and sweatpants.

 Rodney Adderley, Sr, the deceased’s father, became emotional and put his head in his hands as footage of his son’s shooting was played. 

 Mr Adderley, Sr, had described his son to the court as an easygoing boy and a good son who cared for his mother.

 During questioning from Mr Ferguson, Inspector Rudon confirmed that Cpl Pratt was the only officer at the incident with a body camera.

 PC Phillip Deveaux, Cpl Pratt’s partner on the night of the shooting, testified that the two officers were on mobile patrol when they received a call of a suspicious vehicle in the Chippingham area.

 PC Deveaux said he saw Cpl Pratt instruct the deceased to get out of his vehicle. He also said he saw the deceased try to grab the officer’s weapon. 

 The officer said there was a brief struggle between the two over the gun, which he claimed lasted about two to six seconds before Adderley was shot and killed.

 Both officers gave their firearms to Inspector Mario Durell after CSI arrived. 

 PC Deveaux said he was in fear for his life during the incident, but never discharged his weapon. He also said the deceased was within arms reach of Corporal Pratt just before their scuffle.

 PC Deveaux could not say if it was standard protocol for an officer to conduct a search with their gun drawn.

 It was suggested to the officer that he never fired his weapon because he was not afraid for Cpl Pratt’s life. PC Deveaux denied this.

 The officer said nothing illegal was recovered from the scene and the deceased was unarmed.

 When asked by Mr Ferguson if he had non-lethal weapons during the incident, PC Deveaux said no. He further said that he was unaware of whether Corporal Pratt had non-lethal weapons such as a mace or a baton. 

 ASP Garnell Rolle read into the record the report of retired Detective Corporal Rudolph Sweeting, a former CSI officer. 

 DC Sweeting wrote that he went to the morgue at PMH on January 18, 2022, and spoke to forensic pathologist Dr Caryn Sands. 

 He then observed the body of the deceased, which he recalled having two gunshot wounds to the chest and one to the abdomen just below the navel.

 The deceased also had two apparent gunshot wounds to his upper back and one to his hip.

 In addition to photographing the deceased, DC Sweeting received tubes of blood and vitreous humor fluid from the body, which was sent abroad for further analysis. 

 Mr Adderley, Sr, confirmed yesterday that a photo showing the deceased at the morgue was similar to the photo he was shown when he identified his son’s body.

  Angelo Whitfield marshalled the evidence.

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