Police officer caught in Ash liquor store video resigns
The police officer, who was placed on leave in April after he was caught in a video allowing government witness Jonathon Ash to sell liquor during a 24-hour curfew, has resigned from the Royal Bahamas Police Force.
Supt Fernander, who provided security detail for Ash under the witness protection program, had his unmarked white police vehicle parked in front of Made Men Sports Bar and stood behind the bar as customers purchased bottles of alcohol illegally while all other liquor stores were shut down for four months.
Fernander is now quitting the police force without facing criminal charges, unlike hundreds of Bahamians who have been arrested and charged with curfew violations including selling coconut water and leaving home during curfew to get water from the pump.
Instead of disciplining Fernander, who stood by and allowed Ash to commit multiple offenses, the senior command allowed the officer to resign from the police force so that he could collect his full pension.
A photo showed Ash handing the police officer something that appeared to be cash outside of the liquor store.
What message does this send to the average Bahamian who has been charged for violating curfew, which some noted attorneys argue is breaching Bahamians constitutional rights?
After they were exposed, Ash was convicted and fined $7,000 in April for breaching curfew while Supt. Fernander and Corporal Knowles, who was caught leaving the liquor store with hands full of alcohol, were placed on leave.
Now that Supt. Fernander has left the force, will Cpl. Knowles also get a slap on the wrist?
Authorities failed to charge Ash with operating the liquor store without a valid business license. The license for the business is in the name of the building’s dead owner, which makes it invalid.
Ash lied to the magistrate and told him he was only helping out a friend and had only been to the liquor store twice but he applied to the courts to have his truckloads of alcohol returned to him after Bahamas Customs raided the business because they could not find evidence that Ash had paid customs duty on the goods.