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PM ‘conversation’ if police manslaughter findings go on

By LYNAIRE MUNNINGS

Tribune Staff Reporter

lmunnings@tribunemedia.net

OFFICE of the Prime Minister director of communications Latrae Rahming said Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis would “have a conversation with the commissioner of police” if the pattern of adverse inquest findings against officers in police-involved killing cases continues.

Jurors in the Coroner’s Court have returned four homicide by manslaughter findings against police in the last year. Relatives of the men killed in the incidents are, in most cases, impatiently waiting for the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions to say whether any officer will be charged with a crime in the matters.

During yesterday’s weekly press briefing, Mr Rahming said: “I want to begin by saying the prime minister is an advocate for justice.”

“He believes in accountability, regardless of the persons involved in the matter.

“I think what it is, this is a vindication that there’s a system of justice that works, and I think that the government intends to make sure that the courts that oversee these matters get the resources they need. So, his view is that he is an advocate for justice and where there is wrongdoing, that person should be held accountable regardless of who they are.”

Inquests do not determine criminal liability. Relatives of those killed are continuing their pursuit of justice.

Once rare, adverse findings against police have become more frequent. In addition to homicide by manslaughter, jurors could return findings of justifiable homicide or homicide by murder.

The most recent manslaughter finding came on Tuesday at the end of the inquest into the deaths of Richard “Buddy” Bastian and Harold “Kevin” Brown, who were killed on Tonique Williams-Darling Highway around 1am on December 2, 2017.

In August, jurors returned the same finding in the case of Deangelo Evans, who was killed on Sandy Lane in Mason’s Addition on May 27, 2018.

In May, jurors returned a manslaughter finding in the case of Azario Major, who police killed outside Woody’s Bar on Fire Trail Road on December 26, 2021.

A week later, the police-involved killing of Shanton Forbes was also ruled a homicide by manslaughter.

 Some killings have been found to be justified. In December, for example, jurors concluded police were justified in killing Royal Bahamas Defence Force leading seaman Rodney Adderley, Jr, on Dunmore Avenue on January 10, 2022. That was one of four justified homicide findings that jurors made last year.

Comments

rosiepi 1 month, 4 weeks ago

So Davis has not had this conversation already? The few cases that actually get to court are rare, and rarer still are convictions.

And this ridiculous statement by Davis means there is no will to act upon these mere tips of the iceberg that is the corruption in the RBPF.

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ThisIsOurs 1 month, 4 weeks ago

"Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis would “have a conversation with the commissioner of police” if the pattern of adverse inquest findings against officers in police-involved killing cases continues."

IF??? Its already 30 years of police abuse of power too late. Call it "just" the bad apples if you like, but Do something

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ThisIsOurs 1 month, 4 weeks ago

Tribune court report on inquest into police shootings in house in Blair:

Assistant Commissioner of Police Earl Thompson of the police forensic science section testified yesterday that of the eight police firearms his lab collected for testing, six were handguns, and two were rifles.

He said NONE of the weapons matched the ammunition recovered at the scene, indicating they weren’t fired there

Related Tribune court report:

SIX-year-old boy who witnessed his father’s shooting death allegedly told his grandmother his father had his hands in the air and begged police not to shoot because children were around – a plea officers ignored.

Police killed Tony Jamal “Foolish” Penn Smith, Valentino “T-Boy” Pratt and Trevor “Coopz” Cooper on Commonwealth Avenue in the early morning of May 17, 2019.

Jancimae Smith, Smith’s mother, said her son’s widow and his children were in the house during the shooting.

She said when the children were brought to her, her six-year-old grandson, Tony Jr, told her how her son died.

She said Tony Jr told her his father asked for forgiveness from God as he stood in an upstairs bedroom when police stormed the building.

She said he recalled his father putting his hands in the air and telling officers, “Don’t shoot, don’t shoot, there are kids in here.

She claimed the boy said an officer ran behind Smith and shot him in the back as another officer yelled for him to shoot Smith again.

She said the boy said: “Grammy, I saw my daddy take his last breath”.*

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