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Officer accused of brutality transfered

The officer who allegedly beat a woman in the presence of tourists and straw vendors last week has been transferred to another department of the police force as the investigation into the matter progresses, a senior police officer revealed yesterday.

“The officer was removed and transferred to an area that is away from operational policing,”Assistant Commissioner Hulan Hanna said.

“And we can say that the investigation is going at light speed, because the concern here is that the Bahamian people repose a lot of confidence in the Royal Bahamas Police Force and whenever that confidence and trust[are]threatened, the onus is on us as a police organization to move swiftly and ensure that, however things need to be ameliorated, that it can happen.”

Edena Farah emerged from police custody with bruises, bite marks, a busted lip and one of her arms in a cast.

Eyewitnesses toldThe Nassau Guardianthat on Thursday afternoon Farah was conducting a segway tour with a group of tourists when she was stopped by an off-duty officer and subsequently beaten. A few straw vendors reportedly intervened, attempting to stop the officer, who by that time was reportedly being assisted by two male officers.

Tourists gave a similar account of the alleged beating when interviewed byThe Nassau Guardianshortly after the incident .

“At the end of the day if the officer is culpable whatever needs to happen there will happen, and if she needs to be exonerated then that must happen too because there are no winners in things like this,”said Hanna, referring to the female officer.

“We’re talking about a situation that happened before the world, and I say before the world because it happened in the downtown corridor where tourists are, then invariably someone is going to whip out a camcorder or a cell and the next thing it’s posted on[the internet]and the world has it.

“The thing is to move quickly to expunge any negativity that would come to the country or to the force.”

A video of tourists being interviewed about the incident is already circulating on the internet.

In the video, two visitors recount the incident and claim that the police beating was unwarranted.

Another tourist toldThe Guardianthat she was shocked over what happened.

“The police should not be[acting]like that,”said visiting French Canadian Dael Piwko.”They’re nasty.”

The Guardianunderstands that the officer involved in the incident was on sick leave when the scuffle took place and was off duty at the time.

Farah filed a complaint at the police Complaints and Corruption Unit at police headquarters on Friday. Additionally, Farah and her family have sought legal counsel regarding the incident.

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