A 24-year-old woman seen in a viral video being roughed up by a police officer as police shut down a crowded Charms lounge in Centreville on Tuesday evening claimed she was only at the establishment waiting on food she had ordered.
Videos showing a rowdy scene as officers closed the facility circulated widely. The videos showed scores of patrons pouring out of the establishment as officers ordered them out. Other videos showed officers initially blocking patrons from leaving.
The emergency order put in place in an effort to curb COVID-19 strictly prohibits bars and clubs from operating on New Providence, although restaurants may open for takeout, drive-thru, curbside and outdoor dining.
It also prohibits social gatherings.
Davonna Adderley told The Nassau Guardian: “I was in Charms from earlier, before the crowd got there.”
She said that by the time she ordered some food, the police had already arrived on the scene.
“So I was just waiting for my food to be done,” Adderley said.
As she exited the establishment, Adderley said, she noticed a large crowd had formed outside of the building.
“When I went up to the front of the gate, I had the crowd pushing me from the back and the police officer was pushing from the front, pushing the gate in and I was stuck in the middle,” she said.
Adderley explained how as she left the nightclub, a female police officer pushed her, consequently knocking her food out of her hands and onto the pavement below.
“So I stopped and I asked her what she pushed me for,” Adderley said.
“Everybody was passing — why me? I don’t even know her.”
She added, “So she pushed me and I pushed her back and then she pushed me again.”
Before Adderley could retaliate a second time, the police officer took hold of her hair and yanked it, as seen in the viral video shared on Facebook.
“I didn’t have time to push her back because she started to pull my hair,” she explained.
Adderley’s mother, who was one of the police officers on the scene, can also be seen in the video, holding her daughter back and attempting to remove her from the quickly escalating situation.
“My mummy was shouting, ‘Stop. This is my daughter’. Even in the video, you could hear my mummy telling her to stop,” she said.
According to Adderley, the video that showcased the event was recorded and apparently shared by another police officer.
Adderley said she was having a nice time before the police showed up, claiming that the inside of Charms “wasn’t as full as they make it seem” in the videos produced from that night.
She suggested that a great number of individuals seen in the videos never actually stepped foot inside of Charms and had instead congregated outside due to a repast taking place in the nearby area.
However, the videos showed the large crowd coming out of Charms.
Earlier on Tuesday, a funeral was held for Roberto Lewis, 46, who was shot and killed on September 30 outside of Village Pub Sporting Lounge on Balfour Avenue.
“I think that it was just because of the funeral and the repast,” said Adderley on why there was such a large crowd outside of the club.
Adderley explained that, while she doesn’t want the officer to lose her job, she also isn’t willing to just let the situation go.
“Something’s got to happen because if she could do that to me as a sergeant, imagine what her reserves or constable could do to anybody else,” she said.
Police said they were alerted to a “social gathering” at the establishment on Madeira Street shortly after 6 p.m. The proprietor and manager of Charms were cited for hosting a social gathering and failing to practice social distancing, police said.
A number of patrons were also cited.