Categorized | Featured, National News

Police Chief Ashamed –Four Officers Placed on Leave

Four police officers, including an assistant superintendent of police, could be fired from the force pending investigations into what Police Commissioner Ellison Greenslade called a “disturbing and embarrassing” event where officers at the Central Police Station allowed a man who was in custody to marry his fiancé while he was incarcerated.

In fact at a press conference held Monday, Commissioner Greenslade noted that the shotgun wedding was not authorised and goes against everything the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) stands for.

“This commissioner is totally embarrassed by what took place, this should never have happened and I am still trying to come to grips with what happened,” he said.

The assistant superintendent of police, a police corporal and two police constables are now the subject of a heated internal investigation into the now infamous jailhouse wedding.

“Four police officers have been sent home on administrative leave, pending the results of an investigation which is being led by an assistant commissioner of police,” the visibly upset police commissioner said.

“I am satisfied also, that just around mid-day (Monday), the deputy commissioner met with the investigation team and charges are being brought. Those charges are very serious and those charges could result in the loss of employment for people concerned.”

In fact the police commissioner hinted that officers at the Central Police Station even asked for his permission to allow the wedding to take place but he said he denied that request.

However, he said his orders were defied and the bride and her groom, who was in jail for allegedly having $50,000 worth of marijuana in his possession, were able to exchange vows.

“I wish to indicate that prior to developments at Central Police Station on Saturday, I gave orders to command level personnel in this force to ensure that the public might not lose any confidence in this force,” Commissioner Greenslade added.

“Despite my best intentions and my instructions which were defied (the wedding took place).”

Police sources close to the matter told the Journal on Sunday that the drug suspect, who has since been identified as 35-year-old Kendrick Tinker, was arrested the day before his wedding scheduled for Saturday March 8.

It was also reported that the unconventional wedding was “approved by higher authorities on the force.”

Last Friday Tinker and two other men were arrested following the major drug bust at Potter’s Cay Dock.

Tinker was being held at the Central Police Station where his wedding was held.

The police commissioner said this clearly breached the RBPF’s policies and procedures and speaks to conduct that is likely to bring discredit to the force.

“No one in their right mind anywhere on the planet would recognise that there could be any semblance of order to having a person incarcerated whose liberties, by law, have been taken from them, to be taken out of a police force cell and be allowed to consummate a marriage ceremony in a police station,” he added.

“That is a disgrace to The Bahamas, to the Royal Bahamas Police Force and everything good and decent that we stand for. I will not be a part of that, I am not a part of that and I tell you it is out of order and goes against everything that we’ve stood for since 1840.”

Journal sources also confirmed that a pastor was called in to the station to officiate the service, that the bride showed up fully dressed for her big day and that the ceremony was even attended by a number of family and friends.

However, the police commissioner refused to comment any further on the details of what he called an embarrassing and “dastardly” event, except to say that people were in the station who should not have been there.

He explained what charges are being levied against the officers.

“In the first instance I’m looking at internal charges but I’m not sure that that is where it will end,” he added. “I’m not sure but we will see when it’s all done. But I believe in fairness. I will come back to you after I have taken consultations with the deputy and the executive team of the force and other consultations. The public has a right to know.”

On Monday the new groom was formally arraigned on the drug charges in court and his lawyer told reporters that he sees nothing wrong with his client’s new marriage.

“I think there was enough crime for them to focus on rather than a wedding,” attorney Devard Francis said. “At the end of the day the officers have my 100 per cent full support. I heard that some of them may have been placed on administrative leave, but it’s a very silly thing to do and egregiously stupid.

“At the end of the day whatever has happened has already happened. A wedding happened, so what?”

The police commissioner could not say if the marriage is legal.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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