Police brutality probe completed, but results not yet revealed

Commissioner of Police Anthony Ferguson said yesterday the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) has completed its investigation into two claims of police brutality in Rolleville, Exuma.

“The investigation is complete and you can expect a decision very shortly,” Ferguson said.

The commissioner added, “I certainly do not support [police brutality] and the organization does not support it.

“Where we have complaints that are founded, we will take the necessary action.”

Dejah Laing, 19, and her cousin, Aaliyah Bain, 20, claim they were leaving the regatta in Rolleville, Exuma, shortly after 3 a.m. on August 4 when they were pulled over by police for a broken headlight.

Over the course of the traffic stop, Laing said, an officer pushed her against the car and punched her several times.

Bain claimed she was also punched several times by an officer and told to “shut up” after chastising the officer for beating her relative.

After the claims surfaced, the commissioner announced that a team had been sent to the island to investigate the matter.

On August 6, Minister of National Security Marvin Dames said he was “very concerned” about the allegations, noting that “no one is above the law”.

“We are not here to cover up for anybody and that will not be accepted, not on this force,” he said.

“Police officers, law enforcement officers, have taken an oath to protect the citizens of this country and those who visit and we expect that they live up to that oath.”

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Jasper Ward

Jasper Ward started at The Nassau Guardian in September 2018. Ward covers a wide range of national and social issues. Education: Goldsmiths, University of London, MA in Race, Media and Social Justice

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