NASSAU, BAHAMAS JANUARY 12 – Save The Bays representatives said they were “stunned and dismayed” to hear Commissioner of Police say that no complaint had been filed by or on behalf of the organization to request an investigation into threats against members of the outspoken environmental association.
The strong reaction came in response to stories that appeared in both daily papers January 12 quoting Commissioner of Police Ellison Greenslade saying that no complaint had been filed and adding that “That investigation…is going nowhere.” In March, 2016, Prime Minister Perry Christie requested an investigation, asking the Loyal Opposition to cooperate, into allegations that hit men had been hired to murder members of the group that is supported in part by businessman and internationally recognized conservationist and philanthropist Louis Bacon.
“I have the greatest respect for our Commissioner of Police Ellison Greenslade, but I cannot fathom how he could have reached the conclusion that no complaint had been filed when I and four others sat outside his office for more than two hours to meet with him in 2015 and filed a complaint that included nearly 100 pages of exhibits,” said Joseph Darville, a retired educator and now chairman of Save The Bays.
Darville held the nearly inch-thick complaint filed by the law firm of Callenders on February 27, 2015.
“We filed that complaint following what was to be a peaceful gathering of people pressing for a true Freedom of Information Act,” said Darville. “We were on Charlotte Street with all the necessary permits and a stage set up with entertainers singing, people speaking, good fellowship. Instead, the event was hijacked by a group of aggressive protesters whose intent was to disrupt the peace and create an intimidating atmosphere.” Victims of personal attacks described the incident as “terrifying, giving eyewitness accounts of a truck with blaring music and what appeared to be intoxicated men barreling down the road, trying to break through the barriers to Charlotte Street, bearing signs with ugly hate messages and threatening the crowd that included young children.
“We went to the police immediately and filed the complaint later when we got no action. The complaint included statements, photos and DVD recordings,” said Darville. “One of our members who has done a lot of Pro Bono work for law enforcement and raised significant amounts of funds for police over the years sent numerous e-mails and finally got a meeting, not with the Commissioner, though, but with someone else who said bluntly that the hate actions that victims felt threatened their security were just ‘a spat among neighbors.’
“The lack of taking that complaint seriously was the first mistake in what escalated into what appears to be some sort of murder for hire plot. I do not know those two men whose names have been mentioned but I do know that several of us were victims of hate actions and the police elected to ignore us.
“Every citizen deserves respect,” continued Darville. “And every one of our members who serves with Save The Bays is a person who gives unstintingly to community efforts. We are stunned and we still would hope that now that this is out in the public view the Commissioner will act on the original complaint filed in February 2015. We invite him to do so and would welcome the findings once we understand that the complaint was treated with the seriousness with which it was prepared and submitted.”