Officers need best training possible

Shadow Minister of National Security Glenys Hanna-Martin yesterday slammed Commissioner of Police Anthony Ferguson over his comments attributing police brutality to poor parenting.

When he was pressed last week over videos that purportedly depicted police officers beating Junkanoo spectators, Ferguson said the public will only get what they give the force in terms of quality people.

He said parents need to raise their children in more loving homes so that they become better adults.

However, Hanna-Martin said his point was irrelevant.

“Truthfully, what I was expecting for him to say is that he is responsible for discipline and that where it is found appropriate, he would uphold the standard on behalf of the Bahamian people,” she said.

“That is what the expectation is. This general sociological argument about people’s children and how they grow up and all that is not relevant to the issue at hand.

“If there is a question that a police officer who is sworn to uphold the law has acted in a way contrary to the law or violated the rights of citizens, if that is found to be the case, the commissioner must be clear in saying that officers must act in accordance with the law.”

Hanna-Martin added, “He has to have, in my view, with the greatest respect to him, a greater appreciation for his constitutional role in this country for law and order.

“It’s a very, very, very serious one. And it’s not one that can be easily diverted by speaking about how people raise their children.

“It doesn’t matter how anyone raises their child. Once they come onto his force, he must ensure the best training possible.”

Two weeks ago, several videos purportedly depicting police officers beating a group of young men at the New Year’s Junkanoo Parade were widely shared on social media, raising questions about whether officers used unnecessary force in dealing with them.

Ferguson said that complaints have been filed against the police officers, and said they are being investigated.

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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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