'Reckless' posts on massacre

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April 21, 2021

NATIONAL Security Minister Marvin Dames says he's disturbed by social media reports naming police officers as responsible for the murders of six men last week and cautioned the public against spreading unsubstantiated claims.

While Police Commissioner Paul Rolle has repeatedly said there is no evidence to suggest officers were involved in any way in the murders, photographs of five men believed to be officers along with voice notes blaming them for the incident have been making the rounds on social media.

Speaking to reporters yesterday, Mr Dames appealed to the public to be responsible as they use social media.

He said the officers and their families should be taken into account. 

“I had an opportunity to meet with him (the Commissioner) yesterday (Monday) and I am encouraged by the signs that I’m seeing with respect to their investigations and how they’re proceeding with the matter,” Mr Dames said outside Cabinet yesterday.

“… Persons are just trying to investigate this matter by social media. I just want to warn members of the public that we must be careful as we go about the business of using social media and what we put on it and ensure that whatever is being put on social media is being put there responsibly.

“There has been some information circulated with respect to who may or may not have been responsible for the incident and names are being called with absolutely no factual information related to the matter.

“I just want to warn members of the public to be responsible. Now I know that there are certain individuals out there who are acting on behalf of others and it could cause problems.”

He continued: “You don’t want to call persons’ names when they are not connected with the matter because it is very difficult to bring that back and I am very concerned about that. Sometimes it is persons who deem themselves upstanding citizens of this country.

“…When you are making reckless statements and allegations regarding individuals and police officers especially.”

Last Thursday afternoon, Renardo Bastian, also known as “Crack Teeth”, Travis Cooper, Maurice Pinder, Kendal Lord, Delano Smith, and Dequant Brown were killed after the car they were in was riddled with bullets at the Jerome Avenue and Chesapeake Road intersection.

They were approached by four gunmen who were said to be dressed all in black and armed with high powered weapons and handguns.

The killing came shortly after the men had been released from police custody for firearm possession.

A woman and two-year-old girl were also critically injured in the gun attack, but are said, although critical, to be in stable condition. Police suspect it was a gang related attack.

“…Let’s leave the investigations up to police and let the police determine the outcome,” Mr Dames also said. “If there are persons out there with information then they should forward that information to the police.

“Last week the Commissioner would have announced the opening up of an office at the Central Detective Unit for taking information from members of the public, but there are some individuals out there who seem to revel in chaos and there are others out there who use surrogates to put out false and erroneous information against others and this case involving where people are calling police officers names, it’s particularly disturbing to me especially when there are no facts to suggest.

“We need to take into account those officers and their families. I am proud of the Royal Bahamas Police Force and the work that they continue to do to keep us all safe.

“At the end of the day I am cognizant that from time to time there are some officers who go astray, but the vast majority of these officers in these agencies are upstanding citizens and we need to respect that and not be careless and reckless just in the name of advancing a cause or out there to cause problems.

“It bothers me.”

In a statement to The Tribune on Sunday, Commissioner Rolle said police were concerned about the “level of misinformation being perpetrated by persons making unsubstantiated assertions” regarding the case.

Click here to read more at The Tribune

News date : 04/21/2021    Category : About Bahamians, Tribune Stories

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