Assoc. does not condone wrongdoing, but will protect officers’ rights
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — While insisting the Police Staff Association (PSA) does not condone law enforcement officers abusing their power or erring of their mandate, PSA Executive Chairman Sonny Miller said yesterday the association will ensure that no member’s rights are “infringed on during the investigation”.
He was referring to several viral videos which purport to show officers beating several men on the sidelines of the 2020 New Year’s Junkanoo Parade.
The Complaints and Corruptions Branch of the Royal Bahamas Police Force is investigating the matter.
In an interview with Eyewitness News, Miller said although the videos reflect a set of actions, they do not necessarily reflect the full context of the events that transpired.
“As far as the circulation of the video… even though the video shows one thing,” he said at his office on East Street.
“We know people have the capabilities of editing what they want to edit; fixing things how they want to fix it.
“I am not saying that’s what happened, but based on what I see, I am sure the matter is being investigated by the Complaints and Corruption Branch of the Royal Bahamas Police Force, which I can say has capable officers [and] capable investigators who will do due diligence in their investigation.”
The incidents received strong public backlash and are under investigation by the Complaints and Corruption Branch of the Royal Bahamas Police Force.
Speaking to reporters on Sunday, Minister of National Security Marvin Dames said the government does not condone officers abusing their power, though he reserved judgement on the matter pending the outcome of the investigation.
Asked about the excessive use of force, which has become the subject of nation debate, Miller said there have been isolated incidents where officers abused their power.
However, the executive chairman said The Bahamas has the best training programs in the region. He commended the executive leadership of the RBPF and the extent of training and certification in professionalism and appropriate escalation of force police officers are made to undergo.
He noted continued training is critical.
“We will keep and continue, where we can, assisting the officers in being trained,” Miller said.
“We are not bullies and will continue to rely on members of the public to assist us, and we are going to continue doing that, so I guess it’s just something that we have to deal with.”