Davis: Coleby-Davis didn’t strike police officer

Prime Minister Philip Davis said yesterday that he is satisfied with Minister of Housing and Transport JoBeth Coleby-Davis’ explanation that she did not strike a police officer with her car at a carnival event last May.

Davis was responding to former Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis, who called for an update on the investigation into the allegation.

“The new commissioner is settling into the role at a time when there is a significant amount of violence occurring in New 

Providence,” Minnis said in the House of Assembly.

“He has much work to do.

“While dealing with the crime crisis in front of us, it is also important that Commissioner [Clayton] Fernander updates the country soon on investigations into the member for Elizabeth.

“A serious allegation was leveled against the member by a police officer. The Police Staff Association issued a strong statement on the matter. Bahamians are curious as to the outcome of this investigation. It is important that it be concluded in a proper and timely fashion.”

In June, then-Commissioner of Police Paul Rolle said the matter was “being investigated” and that he referred it to the police complaints unit.

Following a back and forth with Fort Charlotte MP Alfred Sears, who accused Minnis of infringing on the parliamentary privilege of Coleby-Davis, the MP for Elizabeth, Davis stood on a point of order.

“As far as I am aware, my inquiries told me whatever he (Minnis) is now promoting to be an investigation was never an investigation,” the prime minister said.

“I understand that there was what I call, for my purposes and the execution of my duties, nothing more than an interior inquiry to determine whether there was any truth or otherwise before they moved to investigate and that’s where it lies.

“If he wants to know, he’ll just have to go to the police. Find out. It’s an interior inquiry. Nothing more and nothing less.

“I’ve spoken with the minister and I am satisfied of her explanation to me and to others.

“… I’m not a social media addict like others but someone showed me a social media photograph of what was supposed to be the incident.

“It appeared to me that a police was moving a police and perhaps chastising him from what I saw on this video. So, I think that is all in the public domain.

“So, that’s why I say it was more of an interior inquiry, not an investigation. If there was anything, I would have thought something would have happened by now. The fact that nothing has happened tells you that nothing happened.”

In May, Police Staff Association Executive Chairman Ricardo Walkes said in a statement that an officer was assaulted by a female driver during a carnival.

Walkes did not identify the alleged driver. However, claims that Coleby-Davis was involved in an incident circulated on social media.

When asked about the claims at the time, Coleby-Davis said, “That is not my character. I had my three-year-old daughter with me on Saturday, so I would never act out in her presence.

“Even if that was my character, I would not. That’s not my personality and I would not do that in the presence of my three-year-old daughter. So, it’s untrue.”

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Travis Cartwright-Carroll

Travis Cartwright-Carroll is the news editor. He covers a wide range of national issues. He joined The Nassau Guardian in 2011 as a copy editor before shifting to reporting. He was promoted to news editor in January 2023.

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