Wedding party of Ministry of Health communications officer cited and fined for breach of orders

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Commissioner of Police Paul Rolle yesterday defended the citation and fines levied against several people who participated in a wedding ceremony that allegedly breached emergency orders last week.

Rolle told reporters that the action taken against the participants at the wedding of Xavier Knowles, a Ministry of Health communications officer, did not represent a “slap on the wrist”.

Photos of the event, which was held last Friday, depicted a large wedding party that included the Attorney General’s son Carlyle Bethel.

Under the latest emergency orders, weddings may be held with no more than 10 people in a religious facility.

On the sidelines of a training seminar, Rolle said police took the necessary action required from law enforcement officers.

“Persons were cited,” he said.

“I’m not going into all the details of who all were cited but we took the appropriate action and I’m satisfied with the action in which my officers took.”

Eyewitness News understands that individuals were fined up to $1,000.

Rolle said officers received calls that an event was happening in the eastern area and made checks to find that “there was nothing amiss”.

“After the officers left, obviously, things went awry,” he said.

“They received a call later when I think everything was over.”

He urged the public to call the police hotline when they see unlawful incidents happening.

Rolle insisted that the citation given for breaching the orders was not a slap on the wrist, noting the police, “simply enforce the laws”.

“The police is answerable to the law. We simply enforce the laws. There are times where we are able to use discretion and…we do that. I don’t get into that particular conversation because we live in a democracy and persons have the freedoms to express their opinion.”

Asked about the concerns of people being treated differently in the country, Rolle said, “I believe in one of two instances…Everybody has to abide by the law whether they are unfortunate or over fortunate or whatever.”

Under the latest emergency orders, weddings may be held with no more than 10 people in a religious facility.

The penalty for breaching the order is liable upon summary of conviction a fine not exceeding $20,000 or a term of imprisonment not exceeding 18-months or both.