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Deputy COP Davis tries to undermine courts over jailed reservist

Updated: Nov 17, 2020

Deputy Commissioner of Police Ismella Davis sought to usurp the authority of the Magistrates Court on Friday when she demanded that a police reservist, charged with breaching COVID-19 orders, be taken to Police Headquarters to be discharged of her duties before being transported to prison.

The Royal Bahamas Police Force was supposed to discharge Sergeant Tess Pratt, 33, of her duties before she appeared in court on charges that she didn’t wear a face mask or follow physical distancing guidelines while at Toote Shop Corner at around 9:30pm on August 27.

However, because senior command dropped the ball and failed to discharge Pratt before her delayed arraignment, Deputy Commissioner Davis tried to pull rank and ordered the officer in charge of Cell Block Nassau Street to send the woman to headquarters on her way to prison.

A furious Davis did not get her way and Pratt went straight to jail.

Pratt was remanded to prison because police took her to court so late there was no time for relatives to sign her bail.

She has been remanded until Monday morning when she will return to court so that a family member can sign her bail.

Pratt’s colleagues on the Police Force are questioning whether the senior command has it out for her by charging her with not wearing a mask when more senior police officers have gotten away with a slap on the wrist for more egregious offenses.

In April, Superintendent Brian Fernander was caught on camera hanging out at the bar of prosecution witness Jonathon Ash as he sold alcohol illegally at an outrageously marked up price during the 24-hour curfew. Bold and brassy Fernander’s white police-issued vehicle was parked in front of Made Men Bar on Faith Avenue almost daily as customers came and went with alcohol.

Fernander was also photographed receiving what appeared to be money from Ash in the parking lot. Though Ash was convicted and fined $7,000 for operating a non-essential business during curfew, Supt. Fernander was only placed on leave then allowed to retire gracefully this month so that he could receive his pension.

Another police officer seen exiting the same bar with hands full of alcohol was also placed on leave but was not charged.

However, Tess Pratt was humiliated, charged and lost her job for not wearing a mask.

Prosecutors also allege that Pratt behaved in a disorderly manner and resisted arrest by WPC 4004 Taylor. She also allegedly assaulted PC 4060 when he tried to arrest her.

Pratt admitted to using obscene language but denied the other offenses.

She allegedly committed all the offenses while off duty and not in uniform.

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