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Police harass elderly, respected Eleuthera businessman

A group of police officers deployed from New Providence to Eleuthera to enforce COVID-19 restrictions stopped, harassed and threatened to arrest a respected elderly member of that community who is known for his charitable efforts.

Businessman Paul Simmons, age 65, was driving along Pyfrom Corner in Governor’s Harbour around noon Monday when police officers out of Nassau stopped him and demanded to know where he was going.

Simmons, a well-known customs broker, refused to tell the officers his destination and insisted the close knit community is not governed by martial law. Officers then demanded to see his driver’s license but after Simmons said he did not have his ID on him, the officer ordered several of his colleagues to take Simmons to Governor’s Harbour Police Station and take a picture of his vehicle in case he tried to escape.

Officers continued to harass the man of God and respected businessman, tried to arrest Simmons and ordered him to go in a back room but he refused.

Simmons, who is considered a community leader and a respected voice in Governors Harbour, has donated to many charities on Eleuthera, including police initiatives.

Simmons says he could not sleep after he was embarrassed and disrespected by officers who treated him like a common criminal.

The mistreatment of one of their own has sparked outrage among Eleuthera residents, who have called on Commissioner of Police Paul Rolle and Minister of National Security Minister Marvin Dames to speak out against the appalling behavior of those police officers.

Residents say the mistreatment of Simmons is not an isolated incident. Other residents of the island have also been harassed by aggressive police officers who they fear are trying to turn the island into a police state.

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