NASSAU, BAHAMAS – A series of videos purporting to show police officers beating a group of men on the sidelines of the 2020 New Year’s Junkanoo Parade went viral yesterday.
In one 15-second video recording, several police officers clad in blue uniform can be seen surveying a group of men who are lined up against a wall.
The men have their hands raised and their backs turned to the officers.
As the video captured zooms in on the group, an officer wielding a long truncheon strikes the backside of one man as he walks away.
The same officer turns his attention to the next man in the line-up, offering him a similar lashing; however, the man runs away.
The officers do not give chase.
When contacted about the video, Minister of National Security Marvin Dames said: “Not in the position to speak at the moment.”
While the videos were forwarded to the minister, Dames did not confirm whether he had reviewed them.
In another two videos, police can be seen brandishing nightsticks and swinging into a crowd in front of the Bank of The Bahamas building on Shirley Street.
In one short clip, a man can be seen laying on the floor as an officer hits him.
Speaking to reporters on Bay Street yesterday morning, Police Commissioner Anthony Ferguson was asked to comment on incidents of crime at the parade.
He was not asked about the videos.
Ferguson said: “We have parades where there were no incidents at all. I don’t want to make any kind of comparison with respect to the parades, but suffice it to say that I can say the parade has been very good so far.
“We want to make sure it continues that way until the parade ends and hopefully throughout the year.”
Attempts to reach the commissioner for comment on the videos yesterday afternoon were unsuccessful.