Categorized | National News

“Police Not Arbitrarily Taking Lives. ” Says Minister

Minister of National Security, Marvin Dames is dismissing ideas that police officers are involved in criminal killings for their own gratification.

Speaking with reporters after a brief House of Assembly meeting, Mr. Dames spoke to the latest fatal police involved shooting that took place yesterday morning in the playground of a primary school.

“I want make it very clear that we are not in the business and the Royal Bahamas Police Force is not in the business of arbitrarily taking people’s lives.

“This administration and I know I speak for the Commissioner and his officers, they’re not in the business of covering up for officers who do wrong and there is no justifiable reason for it.

“We will not stand by or sit down and allow that to happen,” Mr. Dames said.

However, he did indicate that police officers, doing their duty, must make quick decisions based on the circumstances, as they protect the country and its citizens.

“One thing must be recognized, that in the early hours of the morning or late at night when we are all at home and the streets are busy, individuals are out there armed, and an officer is called to a scene he or she has to make a decision based on that moment.

“We can’t decide for them. We can provide the training and the education to equip them and we have been doing so, to equip them to make better decisions.

“But at the end of the day, they recognize that whatever happens there is a certain level of accountability,” Mr. Dames said.

When asked if the public should be concerned about the police involved shootings, 11 of which occurred last year, Mr. Dames quickly dismissed the thought.

“Should the public be concerned? We hope not.

“The police are the authority and we trust that anytime the police, the Defence Force officers or anybody else, pull and use a firearm, they are using it for justifiable means. So, every time an action like that takes place, then that officer must recognize that he or she is accountable for their actions because there is a process,” Mr. Dames said.

He further assured that the police officers are following the law when it comes to apprehending criminals.

“In Police involved shootings and Coroners called to the scene to assess that the police have been following the rules to a T.

“This Commissioner and his administration have been ensuring that they are following the law to the letter. And so as these matters are investigated, they are prepared. They are put before a Coroner’s Court who then makes a determination as to whether there is culpability or not,” Mr. Dames said.

“Our government’s policy speaks to focusing on recruitment, training and education. We will also be looking to that intermediate use of force; but one of the realities we face in this country is this that well over 80% of this serious crimes committed in this country is where people are wounded, where people are killed, firearms are the primary the weapons of choice.

“That is what you are faced with,” he said.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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