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commissionerofpolice

Saturday, August 13, 2022

commissionerofpolice

How the Public Is Responding to the Death of a 4-Year-Old Killed in Hail of Bullets

Following the killing of a four-year-old on Tuesday night, some members of the public are calling for the ultimate punishment for convicts accused of killing children.

Four-year-old Kenton Seymour with his father.

Reports are that Kenton Seymour Jr was in a vehicle with his parents on West and Fleming Streets around 10 pm, when gunmen reportedly chased and fired shots at a man, instead shooting into the windshield of a car, killing the young boy who was sitting on his mother’s lap.

The child was rushed to the hospital but died a short time later.

 

Renewed calls for capital punishment were echoed on social media.

“Our biggest problem is the Privy Council. They never deem anything ‘the worst of the worst’. Our own judicial system here has been failing us,” Taylor Mara said.

Kenton is seen with his uncle.

Brittonee Newry asked, “How many kids have to die for the nation to get serious? Does the violence have to hit the home of some elites for the ax to come down on the heads of these murderers?”

Alexandra Major lamented, “This is unacceptable. Something must be done about all these killings and guns.”

Senator Maxine Seymour joined in the chorus, responding to a post by Helen Johnson who asked, “How many more innocent children’s lives will be taken by these ruthless thugs? Members of Parliament and Senators, please make changes to the law.”

Seymour said, ” You’re quite right. Anyone who harms a child in any way, not just death, deserves the ultimate punishment.”

Though the death penalty remains on law books, it has not been carried out since January 2000.

The Bahamas’ highest court based in London, The Privy Council, ruled in 2011 that the death penalty law should only apply to murders deemed the “worst of the worst”–a person who kills a police or defence force officer, a member of the Departments of Customs or Immigration, judiciary or prison services would be eligible for a death sentence; a person convicted of murdering someone during a rape, robbery, kidnapping or during an act of terrorism.

Kenton’s murder was one of three shooting incidents yesterday.

Police said they have seen an uptick in homicide cases. 82 murders have been recorded for the year.

Police said they have the intended target in custody and are searching for the suspects in this latest homicide.

 

 

 

Fernander Questions Rolle’s Motive Before Exit: ‘Why Now?’

Newly appointed Commissioner of Police Clayton Fernander openly questioned Former Commissioner Paul Rolle’s motive to express his displeasure with the Minnis administration’s decision to place senior officers on leave.

“Why wait until now to highlight that to the members of the public? Fernander who was one of the senior officers sidelined, asked as he appeared as a guest on Global Paradigm Shift with Michelle Malcolm.

Before his retirement, Rolle made headlines last week when he revealed that the Minnis administration pressured him to sideline senior police officers known as ‘PLP operatives’ in 2019 and assign them to various ministries.

Malcolm suggested that perhaps Rolle, who handed the reins of power to Fernander on Tuesday, thought that it was safer to reveal it before his exit

“I guess he figure, he going now, they can’t do him nothing,” Malcolm said.

Fernander retorted, “But why wait now? Why now?”

Malcolm then suggested that Rolle could have “shame them (Minnis administration) then and come out then and say it.” To which Fernander responded, “Exactly.”

Rolle shockingly revealed that the political pressure nearly caused him to resign as Commissioner of Police.

“I think the relationship was getting a little tense because of my stance,” he told a daily.

“I refused to do it. I said, ‘You give me something in writing and I will carry out your instructions. Without that, I’m not going to do it.’”

The senior officers were eventually returned to their posts when the Progressive Liberal Party won the General Election in 2021, one of whom, Leamond Deleveaux was promoted to Deputy Commissioner on Wednesday.

13 Suspects Dead in Police Involved Shootings. Are There More Attempts to Shoot Officers?

Another suspect attempted to shoot at police in Grand Bahama resulting in the suspect being shot in the arm, before running in bushes where he was found injured by a police firearm.

Police Commissioner revealed that the suspect shot at officers, shooting out the police vehicle’s windshield. Officers later found a 7.62 AK-47 assault rifle in the vehicle of the suspects.

This accounts for a recent spate of police-involved shootings that saw 21 incidents recorded for the year.

Though this latest incident did not end in a fatality, 13 police shootings ended in deaths, while 8 were non-fatal.

“Thirteen idiots crazy enough to pull gun on my officers. Officers will not sit by and let someone shoot at them,” he said.

In recent days, some in the public raised concerns about the recent increases in police-involved shootings, but Rolle assured that he will reveal the facts and is transparent in his dealings.

“Whatever the information is, we will make it public. I will not cover [anything]. The pressure is on me.”

He acknowledged specific concerns for 5 of the cases which are being investigated by an internal committee based on concerns raised by the public.

He said after the internal review, he will make recommendations to the coroner.

What did PM Davis say?

Prime Minister Philip Davis addressed the issue of police-involved shootings before Rolle came to the podium. Davis said he is talking to Rolle and is concerned that the incidents can affect the public’s confidence in the organization.

State of Play

In 2020, twenty police-involved shootings were recorded and 11 suspects died; and for 2019, thirteen cases are on record and 8 suspects died.

The Coroner’s Office has been slow in adjudicating these cases. There remains only one coroner.

 

 

 

Commissioner Awards Officers in Viral Traffic Scuffle

Following the dramatic viral video involving the arrest of a belligerent motorcyclist on Monday, Commissioner Paul Rolle awarded two police officers for their actions during a traffic stop.

Constable Tyrese Smith and Sargeant Travis Strachan were given the Commissioner’s Commendation Award and one thousand dollars for showing restraint and being their brother’s keeper.

The big story

Smith, who served two years on the police force, stopped a motorcyclist who was driving recklessly on Tonique Williams Darling Highway on Monday.

The motorcyclist struggled with the officer, pushing and hitting, as he worked to retrain him.

With a gun drawn, Strachan, who was offduty and served 12 years on the police force, ran through traffic to assist Smith in restraining the violent motorcyclist, as other motorists looked on.

What Commissioner Rolle said

Rolle said the video is indicative that police officers put their lives on the line every day to keep the public safe.

Rolle added that he was disappointed that motorists did not assist the officer as he struggled with the motorist, instead chose to record the event.

“This is not a movie. This is a real-life situation. I thought it was in poor taste to make a social event out of it,” he said.

Entertainer Denies Connection to Event after Police Fined Promoter $92,000

A promoter will be charged in the Magistrate’s Court for violating the COVID-19 protocols after receiving a $92,000 fine for hosting a large social event where attendees did not adhere to the emergency order.

The unknown promoter held a party on Sunday night at Bahama Barrels — a property owned by Graycliff and leased to entertainer Julien “Believe” Thompson and was attended by hundreds of partygoers who refused to comply with the mask mandate and the social distancing policies.

Why it matters

Since the implementation of the COVID-19 Emergency Order, the $92,000 citation is the biggest citation to be issued for violation of the order.

The order bans social gatherings and violators of the order are subject to a $2,000 fine and $300 fine for each person in attendance.

300 people were in attendance at the event over the weekend.

Mums the word

Commissioner of Police Paul Rolle did not release the name of the promoter since the matter will end up in court.

However, Thompson denied that he was responsible for the event even though the property was leased to him.

“It was not my event,” he told the Nassau Guardian.

Rolle warned the public to abide by the law.

“I want to say to people to desist,” he said.

“We are going to enforce the law and the penalties for these social gatherings are hefty. They have to take that into account when they decide that they want to invite people over to have social gatherings. When we find them, we are going to cite them. They are going to feel it.”

The big picture

The country has experienced an exponential increase in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks, surpassing 10,000 cases.

Between Friday and Saturday, 189 cases were–74 cases on Friday and 115 cases on Saturday.

 

Photo credit: Julien “Believe” Thompson  http://julienbelieveofficial.com/gallery/