NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Opposition leader Philip Brave Davis on Monday questioned whether Government House is safe, after a Royal Bahamas Defence Force Officer was shot and killed while on duty at the home of the country’s head of state, the governor general.
“Our concern is having to do with how something like this was allowed to take place in such a public place that was supposed to be so secured,” Davis told Eyewitness News Online.
And while the government has committed to increasing the security of government buildings, Davis also queried whether the new administration may have changed the policy which calls for eight RBDF officers to be stationed at Government House.
“With only four being there [on Sunday morning], is there a departure from protocol that was in place. And the question is, did this government depart from that and whether that contributed to what happened? Someone should answer that,” Davis said.
The PLP leader further questioned why a government that claims to be transparent is allegedly hiding key details of the investigation.
“It’s been all over the news and on social media by RBDF personnel saying that it was another marine that did the shooting,” he said. “So if the information is out there already why are officials trying to cover it up? It begs to question why you wouldn’t disclose what happened. I mean people will find out eventually.”
The security of Government House was also a concern expressed by National Security Minister Marvin Dames at a press conference held Sunday at police headquarters.
According to Dames, Sunday’s tragic shooting snuffed the life of a dedicated officer who was unaware that the overnight shift would be his last day on the job.
“A man, a family man who went to work to make a living for his family, not knowing that it would end so tragic and this is unfortunately the job of a law enforcement officer,” he said.
“Often times one leaves home with strength and energy not knowing how it would end or if they would return home.”
Moving forward, the National Security minister said that policies and procedures must change when it comes to the protection of government buildings and an independent investigation will be launched.
“Maybe within the next week or so we will be putting together a team who will look at this incident from a practice side to determine what went wrong, why and if persons are responsible, then they must be held accountable; this is how we do business,” Dames said.