The Withholding of Information on Recent Police Custody Death
Mon, Sep 29, 2014 at 12:34 PM
I write regarding the Police Force’s decision to withhold basic information from the public on the circumstances surrounding the recent death of a person in police custody. The law does not prohibit the Police Force from giving this information to the public due to a pending Coroner’s Inquest. All deaths in the custody of the State or at the hands of an Officer of the State must go before the Coroner. Notwithstanding this legal requirement, the Police Force has provided basic information on previous in-custody deaths, and has also provided information on recent and past police-involved killings in the field, including information on what the Force claimed were the circumstances that allegedly led to an officer killing someone in the line of duty. Why is this matter being treated differently?
What law is the Police Force invoking as its reason or basis for withholding this basic information from the public? And if it is not the law the Force is invoking, what is the reason for the silence when the Force has given such information before, and the Force has a duty to be fully accountable to the Bahamian people in all matters such as these?