Categorized | Editorials

Aggrieved Citizens

That this nation’s Minister of National Security has his hands full is clear to all to see; and [evidently] Dr. Bernard J. Nottage must also know by now that things are never as they seem in today’s crime-ridden Bahamas.

Here we today insist that there is a clutch of matters that cry out for the right attention.

In this array we find a crucial case.

The one we would now focus on involves citizen Reno Rolle who is mentally challenged is wounded; who is also cuffed to a hospital bed; who has been charged with no offence; and who when he did come face to face with the police did so he as he held both his hands high up in the air; and that, [from all reliable accounts], this young man [Reno Rolle] has the mental capacity of a five-year old.

The event to which we refer took place on Thursday the 5th day of July A.D. 2012, at approximately between 7:30 p.m and 8 p.m; it took place at the Royal’s Restaurant which is located on the corner of Market Street and Wulff Road in the Island of New Providence.

At the center of the drama that involved Reno Rolle are two men in plain clothes, whom we have come to understand, were armed police officers.

One eye witness swears that he saw when Rolle was shot; patrons at the restaurant said [to the police] that, “…you shoot that man for nothing.”

And now we hear say, the eye-witness to this affair is also fearful; claiming that he is afraid that he may be next in line for such summary judgment.

This citizen is also being wronged.

But too, what is today not so clear has to do with what seems a clear enough contradiction at the heart of what we call policing in today’s Bahamas.

At the one of the spectrum are those Bahamians, inclusive of some police officers who would – if given the chance- fight fire with fire; and who would love to have the public believe that, when they go to work they are putting their lives on the line.

These types feed off both their fears that those of others just like them.

At the other end of that same spectrum are police officers who are ecstatic now that, they have renewed opportunities to have walk-about the community exercises and other such forays designed to show that, the police can be friends of the so-called people.

And so, there is today no doubting the conclusion that some police officers do believe that, they are caught up in a war with so-called criminal elements.

This neatly explains how it arises that when some of these officers are called to action in so-called ‘hot-crime’ areas, they go armed to the teeth.

And as night follows day, some of these officers come to rue the moment they decided to go in to this or that area; this because as time and experience routinely attest, they misconstrue situations and of course, they sometimes make dreadful errors.

And of course, there are those saddest of occasions when street-level crime and violence is facilitated by cops who decide to turn rotten.

These are the worst of the worst.

When the paths of these two types collide, all hell can and does on occasion break out.

One such did just that last weekend when a young mentally challenged man living on Brougham Street in the Bain and Grant’s Town Constituency was shot up by the police.

This case shows what can and will continue to happen so long as no one bothers to understand that, there are far too many guns out there – whether in the hands of trigger-happy policemen or gun-fancying neighborhood crime watchers.

Nobody we know recognizes this truth as much as it is now known to Reno Rolle, his mother Patricia Clarke, his father, Hubert Rolle and their cloud of family, neighbors, friends and well-wishers.

Reno Rolle is at the center of their now-sad world as together they all pray for his recovery from a single gun-blast from a police-officer’s police- issued weapon.

As a result of that wounding, this 24 year-old mentally challenged young man is stretched out on a gurney in the Princess Margaret Hospital as a result of a bloody encounter with two sets of police officers.

His wounds are many; inclusive of damage that left him with but one kidney left intact; a severely damaged pancreas and with severe damage to some of his intestines.

For his safety and for his speedy recovery, he is today obliged to use a colostomy bag – and so his neighbors, family and friends and well-wishers now so fervently pray.

For our part, we pray for justice not only for this man; but for all other Bahamians who are today legitimately aggrieved.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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