BPA: ‘We Stand Firmly Behind Our Members’

December 16, 2016

Following the protest  on December 2nd, there were comments made that “unjustifiably criticize the members of the BPA who were only performing their lawful duties,” the Bermuda Police Association said, adding that they “firmly believe that the use of force” was “justified, reasonable and necessary.”

A BPA spokesperson said, “The Bermuda Police Association [BPA] thanks those brave officers who carried out their duties on the 2nd of December, 2016, at the House of Assembly to uphold the rule of law in Bermuda. We stand firmly behind our members in this regard.

“Following the protest, there were comments made by the Premier, Opposition Leader, Union leaders and others, that in our view unjustifiably criticize the members of the BPA who were only performing their lawful duties. This is very unfortunate. Sadly, there was no mention by the said individuals of police officers being attacked and injured.

“We believe that the utterances were premature and do a great disservice to the hard-working men and women of the Bermuda Police Service who put their health and safety on the line each day without fear or favour.

“The events of the day in question clearly highlight the unique dangers of the job of a police officer and the reasons why our health benefits should remain as they are.

“The BPA firmly believes that the use of force on the day in question was justified, reasonable and necessary in order to allow officers to execute their lawful duty. The officers faced a very difficult situation, and they performed their duties according to their training.

“The BPA has the legal responsibility to look after its member’s welfare and will do everything in its power to defend and represent its members against any unfair political interference or other unfair practices against any of our members.

“The BPA is committed to ensuring the safety and security of all Bermudians and residents of Bermuda. Its members will continue to uphold the laws firmly and fairly.

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank those many members of the public who have shown their support for the police in relation to this matter.”

click here Bermuda protest on Dec 2nd

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Comments (41)

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  1. San George says:

    Police are never wrong they have a license to do whatever they want. Bermuda did not have police prior to emancipation – guess there was a special form of law and order in place.

    • aceboy says:

      Ridiculous statement.

      Just as ridiculous as thinking people can block the House and tell the police to go away.

      • Izzypop says:

        Guess those cameras on the police vests told the story.
        Thank goodness they hv them

    • err? Excuse? says:

      Not sure what you mean San George? Please explain in words?

      I do chuckle at the response to this–the BDA police advised the protestors many many times that they were breaking the country’s laws and still gave wide bearth to allow the protestors to figure out how to do the right thing and to bring themselves back into the fold of lawful citizens–which of course they didn’t–had those police confronted that behaviour in any other country–things would have been very different–

      Thankfully in this regard–Bermuda is a different world.

      Happy Holidays San George–let a little love in your heart…

    • Terry says:

      Damn…….
      San George. I thought you typed constipation. See I am wrong again because my though was you were full of it and be damed I was RIGHT……………………………………

  2. Terry says:

    Thank you for your service.
    Stand strong.

    Actions were justified.
    Shalom and Merry Christmas.

  3. Kangoocar says:

    While I totally agree with BPA on everything they said, I also hope they support the suspending of one of their own for being a rogue officer who decided it would be wise to join the Law Breaker protesters! I can only hope that officer is terminated and all benefits cancelled! We the tax payers should not be paying for any benefits she might be think she is entitled too! She crossed the line and needs to be dealt with severely!

  4. Jr Smith says:

    YAWN!!!!!!

  5. Point boy says:

    Policing is not an easy job! They each have their own personal beliefs on (right and wrong).. then they have to do their job as the Law states.

    In my opinion, I wouldn’t want said officer watching my six?

  6. JohnBoy says:

    Can we move on from this subject please?! Enough!!

    • Terry says:

      Hippo.
      Why even comment if you did not want a reply.
      What an a**.

  7. Sorry Sir says:

    One can only imagine the terror of 500 people swarming only 20+ of you and your colleagues.

    I’d do whatever I could to get them off me as well.

  8. Jus' Askin' says:

    SAD :-(

    • Jus' Askin' says:

      “…The events of the day in question clearly highlight the unique dangers of the job of a police officer and the reasons why our health benefits should remain as they are…”

      Really BPA, Really?
      You used this moment to champion ‘health benefits’ :-(

      To support senseless violence is one thing but down play what happened and minimise the impact of the ‘force’, to say ‘this is why we shouldn’t have to pay like everyone else’ is going way too far :-(

  9. nok says:

    Your response Mr Officer hasjust made ppl more irritated for next time with your tin soldiers.

    • Obey the law says:

      Simple as that. Obey the law like the rest of the country and this won’t be an issue.

    • aceboy says:

      Be as irritated as you like, just don’t illegally block the House.

  10. Widget says:

    Did the police ever arrest the man that swung the umbrella at the police. So tell me was this guy a peaceful protester, I say not.

  11. Takbir Karriem Sharrieff says:

    The use of heavy handed force,is never the solution to crowd control,or Public Demonstrations.A series of mediation talks,intelligent ,mediation,and peaceful negoiations are surely the best way to go forward ,in the future.I thought the Bermuda Police Force should have learned something since the Riots at Belco,,,,,guess not,,,,,,ho hum,,,………

  12. O.M.G says:

    Thanks to the police service when you all need them one day you will be calling them. They are here to do there job. You were breaking the law that’s it. Stand away from the dame gates and nothing will happen. Imagine if you came home and a bunch of mobsters were blocking your drive or door way and would not let you into your own house who are you going to call. Hello the police.

  13. Whistling Frog says:

    I want to know who gave the orders to pepper spray… All the police had to do was get on their bullhorn and blast the demonstrators with the code of conduct for blocking public access and to please move to the side.

    • ramblings says:

      @ Whistling Frog Ummmm… Maybe you saw a different video than I did, but the Police INSTRUCTED the crowd to disburse and to allow free passage… They refused (by chanting WE WILL NOT BE MOVED)… Personally I think a fire hose would have done the trick… You know Bermudians don’t like the rain!!!

    • Sorry Sir says:

      Did you not see when they were talking to protesters all morning for hours asking them to move?

      Did you hear the protesters chat “We will not be moved”?

      The Police literally gave them HOURS to move and they didn’t. They asked repeatably and they didn’t move.

      After hours of asking them to move they stood there chanting “We will not be moved”

      When the Police finally gave them an ultimatum after hours of asking, they said they had 15 minutes to move or they’ll bring in a squad to move them. In response, Chris Furbert said “You can send them in now because we are not moving!”

      In which the Police STILL waited 15 minutes BEFORE moving in. That’s when the Police got swarmed.

      Nobody gave the orders to use pepper spray, but instead was used in defense as officers were getting attacked.

      • Point boy says:

        The collective oppositions are so hell bent on regaining power that they are very willingly ruining Bermudas credibility.

        They know very well that the OBA are doing a great job.

        It’s sad to watch.

    • James H says:

      I believe they did that for a long time and the people didn’t move along as requested. Breaking the law has consequences. Ignorance of the law is no excuse.

      What would you gave done apart from whistle? Why does it make a difference who gave the order?

      The fact is, the whole thing would have been avoided if these people had not broken the law.

      Just like, if you don’t drive drunk, you won’t get caught driving drunk.

  14. Barnacle says:

    It is good that the BPA represents police officers up to the rank of Chief Inspector. The COP had already stated that a Superintendant was in charge of the operation that day. It will be interesting when all the facts come to light about whose bright idea it was to send 20 police officers into a crowd of at least 100….. Regardless of what law was being broken, that was a dopey idea…

  15. Widget says:

    @Whistling Frog

    They the protesters were verbally instructed by the police to move and they refused. Whilst I feel sorry for the elderly that were pepper spayed I personally feel those in charge should not have put them their in the first place. However, the lesson in this would be to disburse when asked.

  16. sage says:

    Does anyone realize how many full blown riots have occurred after a matter that could be de-escalated is exacerbated by heavy handed over reaction on the part of the police and not just the protesters actions? In this case the protesters did not react with violence, with the exception of a man allegedly hitting an officer with his walking cane, from the video you can see things cooled down. I for one don’t feel a tough law and order approach is worth it in circumstances that could quickly become out of control. Allowing people to de-rail the democratic process, several times now over a building contract, certainly isn’t good either.

  17. GanjaMon says:

    Of course the Police actions are justified. Just like all the killings by police in the US.

    While I agree the protesters were wrong, I also think the police escalated the situation to a point that they lost control. The riot police should not have went in like a bartering Ram to begin with they should have stood in front of the crowd and gave a final warning of some sort while letting thr protesters know they’re not playing and will take further actions.

  18. watchfuleyes says:

    Oh please… injured my foot.once again police never admitting when they are wrong and then fabricating injuries. How many police left in ambulances. .how many got treated at the hospital for their injuries other than a Bandaid. how many protesters got injuries other than by pepper spray. Do not go there. More cover up and lies

    • Zevon says:

      No protesters were injured. Pepper spray wears off in an hour. Nothing else happened or we’d have heard by now. That lot never miss a chance to play the victim.

  19. Dark Star says:

    We have been criticizing the Gov’t and police for being to soft and they now do their job and the babies at the Union/PLP cry foul. We as voters want them to do their job and they did it well-the only blame lies with the heads of the PLP and union

  20. Old Soldier says:

    The real failure was one of planning. The Police knew for months that, having blocked access to the House before, the Combined Opposition would likely do it again. Their job was to guarantee access to the House for Members of the House of Assembly so that they could do their job. Given the layout of the House, it’s not a particularly difficult thing to do.

    Did they do it? They did not. They screwed it up completely. Did no planning. Seemed almost to have been taken by surprise. The assault on the demonstrators was without any point at all in the context of the House needing to start at ten in the morning.

    The Commissioner, whose job it is to run the Police, should have offered his resignation immediately. He didn’t. Now, the new Governor should demand it.

    • Terry says:

      And there in lies the big rub “Old Soldier”.

      It’s the Deputy Commissioner that runs the everyday police service.

      I know…………..
      Another Bermudian.
      Think first then chop my head off.

    • Zevon says:

      So you complain they should have had a plan but didn’t.
      Last week the complaint was that the police had planned their actions ahead of time.
      Can’t win for losing can they.
      The pepper spray wore off in an hour, yet people will whine about this for months.

  21. Silence Do Good says:

    Thank-you BPS for showing the testicular fortitude that our politicians lack.

    I do not support violence and respect individuals rights to protest, but the crowd gathered blocking parliament were wrong and deserve the full measure of the law when breaking it. Bermuda is very peaceful and we gravitate more towards conversation than civil disobedience. Correct show of force and even smarter backing away from the situation when no support was received from the politicians.

    Lets be prepared next time so individuals exercise their rights while the police maintain order and safety. I recommend blocking off Parliament Street after the driveway for the house up to the corner of Church Street as a area for protestors. Anyone protesting outside the designated area or obstructing traffic or the house convening should be arrested and immediately taken away. Organizers should also be held accountable for any escalation that breaks the law. Arrest the organizers first if they cannot maintain control over their supporters.

  22. Maddog says:

    Totally agreed with ” Silence Do Good” ‘s comments….if the Police tell me to move (and they are in a position of power to do that), then I’m gonna move, otherwise consider accepting the consequences and no whining about it later.

  23. clearasmud says:

    What else would you expect a union to say about its members. The crowd doing wrong does not mean the police automatically do the same. Their first actions should have been to try to deescalate the situation not escalate it by using force! Their original plan was for a different scenario and when faced with a new and changing situation they failed miserably to manage it. The commissioner has already publicly admitted that they were not prepared for what happened.