Why Did the Tribune’s ‘Investigations’ Go Wrong?
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In an eye-witness account, The Tribune alleges that officers of the Royal Bahamas Police Force disobeyed the COVID-19 emergency orders—patronizing a local eatery during the 2-week national lockdown.
The daily newspaper in an article entitled, Leading Us By Example: The Tribune Witnesses Police Officers Defying Restaurant Lockdown Rule, says officers were seen arriving at Getaway Restaurant and Lounge in Golden Gates Plaza and “leaving with bags of food.”
The report which does not carry the name of the reporter says, “Before this, a police vehicle with several officers inside was seen leaving Gateway with food.”
Prime Minister Hubert Minnis announced a two-week lockdown of the country closing all non-essential businesses and restaurants to curb the spread of COVID-19.
But many insists the Tribune’s story lacked proper and further investigation, as the reporter did not ask questions of the employer, employees, patrons nor the police officers on why the establishment was open, neither produced receipt of purchase since entering the establishment to investigate the situation.
The article says, “At one point, the Tribune entered the local eatery and ordered several dishes and a few drinks which the employee was happy to serve.”
What does the restaurant say?
Getaway Restaurant and Lounge says it provides essential services to the Royal Bahamas Police Force, “hence we are deemed essential and have permission to be open.”
The eatery says in a Facebook post, “It may not be public knowledge but if anyone had asked, we would have gladly explained.
“In these times we must be careful to not seek negativity but to seek truth.”
Responding to the story’s claim that other patrons were purchasing food and “liquor and other alcoholic beverages were also seen displayed on the restaurant’s wall,” Getaway Restaurant and Lounge says, “We do not serve alcoholic beverages and we do not advertise being open. We are not open to the general public.”
What does the Commissioner of Police say?
Commissioner Paul Rolle explained that police officers were at Getaway Restaurant and Lounge to collect food for individuals in police custody.
Published in the next day’s publication, Commissioner Rolle said the restaurant provides nearly 1,000 meals every day for such individuals, as each person receives three meals a day.
“You would have seen some of that in the media, recently, well that was for the prisoners. That is what the officers were doing there. Collecting meals for the prisoners.”
He did say, however, that “restaurants that are allowed open…they are not to serve the members of the public,” as they are to cook food for prisoners only.
What do users on social media say?
The local restaurant garnered the support of social media users. Many expressed disappointment that the popular newspaper did not further investigate why the establishment was open for service.
Artesia Davis says, “I thought the restaurant supplied meals for detainees at various police stations.”
Khambrel Wilson expresses surprise that the newspaper still made the article public after protest. He said, “Disappointing that you’ll decided to still go ahead with this, and after 10 hours, you’ll still have it up.”
Kenva Valdes says, “Disappointed in the Tribune. Do your homework before you publish foolishness.”