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No Surprise: Violent Cop Goes Unpunished

In what appears to be an attempt to sweep the matter under the rug, senior police officers have transferred, rather than discipline, a violent cop.

The female officer is responsible for beating an innocent civilian in front of hundreds of tourists in downtown Nassau last week.

Police chiefs are  allegedly “investigating” the incident, but most Bahamians think they will do what the police usually do in such cases… get the matter out of the public view until the situation dies down and eventually goes away.

The Nassau Guardian reports that Assistant Commissioner Hulan Hanna said, “the officer was removed – and transferred to an area that is away from operational policing.”

That’s a long way from being punished.

Hanna rambled on to the media about how the police are investigating at “light speed” and how they always move “swiftly” to ensure that the public’s trust is not lost.

Mr Hanna is obviously unaware that the public’s trust in the Royal Bahamas Police Force can not be diminished further because it is already nonexistent.

The shocking incident involving extreme police brutality unfolded as Edena Farah was conducting a segway tour with a group of tourists downtown Nassau last week. Ms Farah was stopped by an off-duty police officer who grabbed her by the hair, yanked her off her segway and started to beat her.

As Ms Farah tried to defended herself, two additional police officers came to the scene to assist in the beating.

Tourists and straw vendors witnessing the events were shocked, with a few of the straw vendors even attempting to stop the officers.

The police allegedly then took Ms Farah into the small police station next to the Senior Frogs restaurant and continued beating her.

She later emerged from police custody with bruises, bite marks, a busted lip and one of her arms in a cast.

A video of tourists being interviewed about the incident is currently circulating on the internet. In the video, two visitors say that the police beating was unwarranted.

The Nassau Guardian reported that the officer involved in the incident was on sick leave when the scuffle took place and was off duty at the time.

Witnesses told the media that the dispute between Ms Farah and the police was over whether or not Farah had the right to ride on the street or the sidewalk.  Other people close to the incident say that it may have been due to a rivalry between the women over a man.  It is unclear if this is true or not.  Either way, the behaviour of the police was unacceptable.

Ms Farah has filed a complaint at the Police Complaints and Corruption Unit at police headquarters.

The incident follows police refusal to allow an independent body to investigate complaints against the police.

Several members of the media have suggested that the police are incapable of policing themselves.  The fact that police officers are rarely punished, even when they commit serious crimes, is reason enough to criticize the current method of investigating complaints.

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