Incidents prompts strong reaction from the public
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Commissioner of Police Anthony Ferguson yesterday confirmed that viral videos which purport to show officers beating several men on the sidelines of the 2020 New Year’s Junkanoo Parade are being investigated.
Speaking to Eyewitness News Online, Ferguson said the videos have been reviewed and the matter has been referred to the police complaints unit.
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.
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.
The videos have once again placed the RBPF under the spotlight, prompting strong, but mixed reaction from the public, with many suggesting the actions were shocking and not in line with standard expected of officers.
However, others sided with the officers on the need to maintain law and order.
Some noted that the video were short clips and did not reflect the full context of what may have transpired prior to the incident.
When contacted earlier yesterday, Chief Superintendent Solomon Cash, who heads the Central Detective Unit, said he had reviewed the videos and intel officers were reviewing the footage to determine the source.
“I looked at the video you sent me,” he said.
“I really can’t make any comment on it as yet, but I’m telling you we have our intel officers on board who are conducting some investigations to determine the source of the video.”
Asked whether the officers had been identified, Cash said the investigation had no reached that stage.
“Like I said earlier, I just looked at the video and I have my intel persons trying to establish the source of the video. Once we do that, then we would be in a better position to make any further statements.”