Graphic photos of women who alleged they were beaten made the rounds on social media
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — National Security Minister Marvin Dames revealed yesterday that an investigation has been launched into allegations made by two Bahamian women that they were brutally beaten by police in Exuma on Sunday morning.
“The matter over the weekend is very concerning to me,” Dames told the media.
“I spoke with the police commissioner and he confirmed that a team has been sent over to Exuma and commenced investigations almost immediately.”
Dames also sought to allay public concern that the investigations might not be impartial as the investigation process usually involves police officers investigating their colleagues.
“We are not here to cover for anybody,” Dames insisted.
“We will continue to look at how we will improve the process.
“When law enforcement officers do wrong [and] the evidence is there to show; then those persons are dealt with, whether it’s done before the court or internally.”
He continued, “Police officers have taken an oath to protect citizens of this country and those who visit, so we expect that they live up to that oath. No one is above the law.”
“We would have had officers who were placed before internal tribunals and fired or demoted. It all depends on the evidence and if the matter is egregious enough, then one would expect that that officer will be placed before the courts.”
Dejah Laing and Aaliyah Bain were nursing serious facial injuries Monday after what they described as a nightmarish encounter with authorities in Exuma.
Samuel Humes, Bain’s and Laing’s cousin, claimed he and his relatives had just left the Rolleville Homecoming Festival and Regatta and were on their way home around 4:30 a.m. when they encountered a police roadblock.
Humes was driving the vehicle.
Bain and Laing were in the passenger seats.
He said officers stopped him after realizing one of his lights was not working.
He claimed the officers rushed to the vehicle and sought to forcibly remove his cousins from the car after one of them refused to step out until a female officer arrived.
“He told my cousin to come out the car and she told him, ‘I ain’t coming out no car; you cannot touch me. I am a female. Where is the female officer’? Humes alleged.
Humes further alleged that the officer began cursing and continued attempting to open the door, eventually succeeding.
“He slapped her on her chest and she reacted,” he alleged.
“He gripped her and put her in a headlock, and started punching her.
“That’s when I started to see blood.”
Photos of the teens made the rounds on social media over the holiday weekend.
The images showed Laing with a bloodied, swollen face and a severe tear to her eyelid.
Her eyes were a deep red.
Bain had a swollen, bruised lip, and cracked tooth.
Her eyes were also visibly swollen.
With tears in her eyes as she spoke, Laing said the alleged incident traumatized her.
Laing alleged that there were two other male officers nearby at the time of the alleged incident.
However, she claimed none of the other officers sought to stop the alleged beating.
The pair also alleged that they were transported to a police station and left in the dark for over an hour before a female officer took them to the clinic.
She said even at the clinic she and her cousin were treated like criminals.
Bain and Laing were later released without being charge with a crime.