Commissioner defends police firing warning shots in viral video

Commissioner of Police Anthony Ferguson said yesterday that a video that made rounds on social media showing a police officer firing warning shots during a fight did not accurately depict the entire situation.

The video, which circulated over the weekend, depicted a large fight outside a business establishment. Two officers appeared to fire multiple shots into the air in the midst of the crowd.

While some who watched the incident unfold said the officers were justified, others raised concern over the safety and appropriateness of the warning shots, noting that the stray bullets could have potentially injured unsuspecting people.

Ferguson defended the officers, but noted that police are not perfect.

“There were persons in the car who still went and tried to attack the police,” he said outside Government House.

“[W]e look at ways that we can do things better. We are not saying that we are perfect.”

He added,  “Safety is very, very important. You cannot allow people who have this antisocial behavior to go out into public areas and believe that they can do anything that they want to do. There are a whole lot of people who are going out to have a wonderful time, and when you have antisocial behavior by persons who have no regard for the law, who have no regard for you, it’s very important that we weigh things before we shoot words.”

“You always have the people that send things out that will catch, but they hold the real scenario, the whole scenario, back.”

Ferguson said Bahamians are quick to share the bad, but not the good.

“People will send out what they want to send out, but there were actually three pieces of the video,” he said.

“You know the one they sent out? The one they want to send out.”

He added, “I want to publicly thank the men and women who are out 24/7, while persons are on the sidelines recording and floating around videos and looking for the bad. There are persons, who, all they want to do is talk about the bad, but there are a lot of good things that are going on in this Commonwealth of The Bahamas.”

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Rachel Knowles

Rachel joined The Nassau Guardian in January 2019. Rachel covers national issues. Education: University of Virginia in Charlottesville, BA in Foreign Affairs and Spanish

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