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Probe launched after video shows police officer body slamming man

Commissioner of Police Paul Rolle has ordered an investigation after a video went viral showing a police officer using force while making an arrest.

In the video, an officer is seen body slamming a man and repeatedly kicking him down.

The video appears to be from a security camera, which purportedly shows police breaking up a social gathering. Such gatherings on New Providence are banned under emergency orders put in place to help curb the spread of COVID-19.

According to the statement, the officer was placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

“The Royal Bahamas Police Force wishes to maintain a professional standard and a good working relationship with members of the public,” police said.

“We [will] ensure that this matter is investigated in a timely manner with the results brought to the public’s attention.”

Earlier in the day, Rolle told reporters that more than 30 people were arrested this week for having social gatherings on New Providence.

In relation to that social media video showing police roughing up individuals and making arrests, Rolle said, “There were a total of 23 people arrested in that one.

“Again, officers went into another club, where they arrested, I believe, eight or 12 or 15 persons that were found on the inside.”

Though COVID-19 cases are still rising, many businesses are resuming their normal operations. However, the commissioner advised that people are still breaching the COVID-19 guidelines by hosting large gatherings.

“Over the last few days, we have had to deal with quite a few persons who took liberties to have parties,” Rolle said.

“We don’t want to be arresting people, but they need to understand the law is the law. We encourage them to abide and hopefully, we are soon able to get out of this pandemic so people are able to enjoy themselves at the various parties. Wherever we find these breaches, we are going to be taking action and decisive action.”

Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis announced on Sunday that while the country is reopening, it is still at war with COVID-19 and people should not risk their lives by having large parties, socials or group gatherings.

Rolle advised members of the public to call the police if they are aware of people breaching the COVID-19 guidelines.

Police are also asking anyone with information on the incident captured on tape to contact the deputy commissioner of police at telephone numbers 302-8416 or 302-8420. 

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Italia Clarke

Italia Clarke joined the Nassau Guardian in August 2020. Clarke covers national, human interest and social issues. Education: University of The Bahamas, BA in Media Journalism

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