NASSAU, BAHAMAS – There have been nearly one dozen police-involved shootings recorded in 2018, and despite mounting public concern, National Security Minister Marvin Dames assured that in many instances, police officers are faced with challenging situations during as they continue to tackle crime.
He also assured that due process is being followed as it relates to the investigation and carriage of justice in those matters.
Dames’ comments came on the heels of a police-involved shooting on December 19.
Dames, while recalling the details of that incident, alleged that officers involved in that shooting incident acted well within their rights to have fired their weapons. He said the man shot during that incident fired his gun at police officers first and that officers opened fire in return.
While he labeled the incident as an unfortunate, he underscored that matters of this nature hurt all parties involved.
“When we have these shootings, it is as much a concern for the police as it is for members of the public because when a police officer pulls the trigger and shoots someone, there is a high level of accounting for that officer,” he shared.
“No one likes to see these matters drawn out and like I’ve said before and in previous interviews, often times it affects an officers’ upward mobility if you have a matter there that is outstanding and is lagging.
“When the promotion team so looks at the officers’ history and if it is found out that there is a matter outstanding then that officer then goes in the back of the line.”
Dames implied that in some instances, the general public does not take into consideration how these incidents impact the career of those officers who allegedly commit police-involved killings.
Dames confirmed that all police-involved shootings for the year are currently before the coroner’s court and that his ministry has a number of new ideas which will, in the future, help to expedite these cases.
“We all would like to see these matters addressed and moved very quickly and we’ll be looking at that too,” he affirmed.
“I have some ideas of some models that I have been closely related with, that hopefully will assist in speeding these matters up through the process and bringing a greater level of independence to these investigations.”
The man shot dead by police on December 19, up to press time on Sunday, still was not identified by police.