DISCHARGED: Senior officer behind police brutality allegations retires with pension

DISCHARGED: Senior officer behind police brutality allegations retires with pension
Police officers. [FILE PHOTO]

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — A senior police officer under investigation for allegations of police brutality officially retired from the force at the end of last month, Eyewitness News can confirm.

Assistant Superintendent of Police Derrick Ferguson was among several officers discharged from the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF), having retired on pension.

His retirement took effect on March 31, 2021.

Ferguson was placed on leave last month pending the outcome of an investigation after three young men alleged they were abused while in custody.

The alleged incident was purportedly recorded by one of the victims, and in it, a man who refers to himself as “Assistant Superintendent of Police Derrick Ferguson” can be heard slapping and berating others.

In an audio recording that lasts over four minutes, a man can be heard saying: “You know who I is? My name is Derrick Ferguson, assistant superintendent of police. You hear me? Put your hands down. Look at me. Look at me.”

The distinct sound of a slap rings across the audio recording as the officer shouts again: “Look at me.”

A purported officer, who was previously addressing another suspect, can be heard goading the senior officer.

The three young men, aged 19, 23 and 26, have said they intend to take legal action in addition to a complaint filed with the police, according to attorney Craig Butler, who represents one of the men.

The men were reportedly arrested as they were leaving the fish fry at Arawak Cay on February 28 and got into a dispute with two other young men as they attempted to leave the area.

Police Commissioner Paul Rolle.

In the aftermath of the incident, Commissioner of Police Paul Rolle advised that he heard the audio recording and the complaints unit was conducting investigations.

“That will go through due process and I want to say I don’t support that type of behavior by no officer on the Royal Bahamas Police Force,” he said.

It is unclear whether that police investigation into the matter is still ongoing as Rolle could not be reached on the matter up to press time.

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.