'IT WILL NOT DISAPPEAR': COP pledges full independent investigation, UK and US to assist

Police Commissioner Clayton Fernander

Police Commissioner Clayton Fernander


Tribune Digital Editor


Commissioner of Police Clayton Fernander today confirmed that a team has been assembled to investigate the allegations concerning several voice notes that purport to capture conversations involving Chief Superintendent of Police Michael Johnson, a well-known lawyer and Michael Fox Jr, a man police described as a prominent gang leader when he was killed in May.

At a press conference, Mr Fernander said law enforcement from the UK and the US have indicated a willingness to assist in the investigation to ensure it is independent and impartial, adding that discussions are already underway. 

He stressed that the organisation understands the far-reaching implications of the allegations contained within the voice notes, and advised that the integrity of the police files before the court remain in tact. 

He appealed to members of the press to understand the sensitivity of the investigation, and asked for cooperation in allowing investigators to proceed thoroughly and accurately.

Mr Fernander said: "Results will not come overnight but rest assured the investigation will be vigorously pursued, it will not disappear. It will not disappear."

Mr Fernander noted personnel changes were underway within the police force, including the Criminal Investigation Department; however, he underscored that the changes were not a direct result of this matter.

Mr Fernander said he was aware the public was eager for more details but declined to provide further details until the investigation was complete.

Mr Fernander admitted that the allegations will have an impact on public trust.

Mr Fernander said: "I want the Bahamian people to know that your Royal Bahama Police force will continue to live by its motto courage loyalty and integrity. We will continue to have our officers on the right track, if you go the other way then we do what we have to do, we cut you off. 

He added: "If you choose that path then we cut you off quickly, as we have been doing, as we identify and move forward, to clean it up and to get it right."

The press conference followed allegations last week that circulated on social media, including the voice notes.

The five leaked voice notes feature conversations seemingly about an arrangement that would allow the police to drop their investigation into Fox and his associates.

Police had issued wanted posters for Fox and Dino Smith concerning the theft of $1,475,000 from an unattended security vehicle transporting cash for the Bank of the Bahamas to a private airport on November 2. However, the men were never charged with the incident.

Fox was paralysed eight years ago after he was shot while reportedly repairing a car on Ida Street.

In 2019, the Court of Appeal overturned Smith's 18-year manslaughter conviction for the death of Levardo Deveaux on Fowler Street.

Free National Movement chairman Dr Duane Sands had urged Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis and National Security Minister Wayne Munroe to request help from the FBI and Scotland Yard, adding that a Commission of Inquiry could be necessary if that fails.

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