CORONER’S INQUEST TO COME: Investigation into RBDF officer slain by cop completed

CORONER’S INQUEST TO COME: Investigation into RBDF officer slain by cop completed
Leading Seaman Rodney Adderley.

Family will see police bodycam footage at coroner’s inquest

RBDF commander explains protocol for handling marines who may experience mental health challenges 

NASSAU, BAHAMAS —  Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF) Commander Dr Raymond King advised yesterday that the investigation into the shooting death of Leading Seaman Rodney Adderley by police has been completed and will be turned over to the coroner for an inquest.

During the weekly press briefing at the Office of the Prime Minister, King provided an update on the circumstances surrounding the tragedy, which has sparked widespread calls for the release of police bodycam footage.

He said the investigation is at its conclusion stage, police have compiled the evidence, the coroner visited the scene and the file is being prepared to be presented to the coroner by today.

The commander said he met with Adderley’s family and offered condolences, prayed with them and answered all their questions.

He said they were advised they will see the bodycam footage during the coroner’s inquest.

RBDF Commodore Dr Raymond King.

King confirmed that he did view the footage but did not wish to comment on the matter further, other than to echo a joint statement from the Ministry of National Security and Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) that the footage is “consistent with the accounts of the officers”.

He said he does not want to prejudice the role of the coroner, which is to look at the circumstances and determine whether the use of deadly force was justified or appropriate in the case.

Asked whether family members were satisfied that they will not be able to view the footage until the inquest, the commander said they understand the process and were more concerned about the timeline of the inquest and how long it would take.

He said they were advised of the protocols and of their option to petition the coroner’s court through legal representation to have access to the footage.

“We guided them against the call to have this video made public because it could be disturbing and it may not be something they want to be disclosed to the public,” he added.

Addressing RBDF officers, King said he empathized with their grief and pain having known and worked with Adderley and having considered the fallen marine a friend, a colleague and a brother.

He urged officers to allow the process to be completed with due process and without any form of prejudice and bias.

I assure you this matter will be fully investigated, adjudicated and resolved, and the facts will bear that out.

– RBDF Commander Dr Raymond King

“I assure you this matter will be fully investigated, adjudicated and resolved, and the facts will bear that out,” he said.

King acknowledged the level of anger, frustration and bitterness being demonstrated by officers and warned that most of it is being influenced by “inaccurate and erroneous information”.

“Be mindful we are members of a disciplined service, grounded on the principles of good order and military discipline, and hence we must be responsible in our responses, particularly with access to social media platforms,” he said.

Minister of National Security Wayne Munroe.

He reminded officers of a social media policy that guides their conduct and behaviors that ought to be adhered to.

Asked about Minister of National Security Wayne Munroe alluding to Adderley possibly experiencing mental health challenges, the RBDF commander said he advised the minister based on the advice of the RBDF’s medical officer.

“He took the liberty to disclose to the public. I see it as privileged information between physician, a medical professional and client, so I will refrain from making any comment in terms of his medical condition,” King said.

The commander, however, did explain the force’s protocol for handling marines with mental health issues, including counseling with the force’s chaplain then an examination by the force’s medical officer and a referral to a professional psychologist session — all of which is included in the government’s insurance program.

About Sloan Smith

Sloan Smith is a senior digital reporter at Eyewitness News, covering a diverse range of beats, from politics and crime to environment and human interest. In 2018, Sloan received a nomination for the “Leslie Higgs Feature Writer of The Year Award” from The Bahamas Press Club for her work with Eyewitness News.