Bite marks on beating victim
A young woman allegedly beaten by police in front of tourists and straw vendors on Thursday emerged from custody yesterday with bruises, bite marks, a busted lip and one of her arms in a cast.
“I had to come down here today and thank y’all,”said Edena Farah to vendors at the straw market yesterday during a visit to thank them for their intervention when she was taken into police custody.
“Y’all saved my life,”Farah said as she hugged vendors.
Eyewitnesses toldThe Nassau Guardianthat Farah was conducting a segway tour with a group of tourists when she was stopped by an off-duty officer and subsequently beaten by a group of officers. The vendors reportedly intervened, attempting to stop the officers and calling for help.
Vendors and tourists were outraged at the scene on Thursday at the rear of the straw market near the Senior Frogs restaurant.
“The police should not be[acting]like that. They’re nasty,”said visiting French Canadian Dael Piwko.”[The police]scared us. We came here, we spent our money and what are they doing?They beat the woman. They’re showing us bad things. They should not do that.”
The Nassau Guardianspent yesterday afternoon with Farah
and her family. She filed a complaint at the police Complaints and Corruption Unit at police headquarters before visiting vendors.
Farah attempted to meet with Police Commissioner Ellison Greenslade. However, Greenslade was in a meeting when she visited. He and Farah are scheduled to meet soon.
Farah and her family have sought legal counsel regarding the incident.
Vendors urged Farah to pursue a case against police.
“This[is]for everybody who has ever been brutalized by the police. I’m going to be the person for you guys,”she told vendors.
Assistant Commissioner Hulan Hanna toldThe Guardianyesterday that the situation involving Farah and police got”out of hand”and police will take”decisive action”regarding the matter.
“This is all unfortunate because this happened in the downtown area where, literally, hundreds of tourists and other persons are present. And if the story as told is what it is, then we as a force need to take corrective action immediately. And rest assured, the Bahamian public has that assurance from the Royal Bahamas Police Force that we will do just that,”he said.
Hanna, who is the senior police spokesperson, described the incident as”very ugly and very, very unfortunate.”
Hanna’s remarks were the first by police on the issue. The entire senior command of the Central Division were at the straw market on Thursday.
Superintendent Wayne Miller, officer-in-charge of the division, toldThe Guardianat the scene on Thursday that he could not give details on what happened as the matter was still under investigation.
“Right now I’m trying to restore calm,”he said, pointing to the large groups of people gathered behind the market.
“We’re going to look at everything that happened then give a report.”