Police sneak Gibson through court back door during COP press briefing
Commissioner of Police Paul Rolle is being criticized in some quarters for holding a press conference at the same time that Long Island MP Adrian Gibson and six others sneaked through a back door of the Magistrates Court, as if to distract the media from the high profile arraignment taking place.
The arraignment of Gibson, his cousin Rashae Gibson, his campaign general Joan Knowles, former Water and Sewerage Corporation General Manager Elwood Donaldson and three others was in stark contrast to the media circus that ensued following separate pronouncements by police that three former members of parliament from the Christie era would be paraded before the courts.
Crowds of people snapped photos of former PLP Cabinet Ministers Kenred Dorsett and Shane Gibson, who limped into court on crutches while shackled in an inhumane fashion, as well as former PLP Senator Frank Smith as they did the “Bank Lane Shuffle”.
However, Gibson and his co-defendants were spared the embarrassment of being shackled as cameras flashed in their faces. In fact, none of the defendants were handcuffed.
Consequently, media houses had minimal and distant shots of the accused as they were escorted around the back.
It raised questions about whether outgoing Commissioner of Police Paul Rolle, who was the head of the Anti-Corruption Branch in 2017 when the PLPs were charged, intentionally called the media to Police Headquarters for a news conference to draw their attention away from what was happening at the Magistrates Court.
Following the Free National Movement government’s stunning loss at the polls on September 16, 2021, Rolle was quick to change the arraignment policy, which spared defendants the indignity of being splashed across newspapers and tv screens with shackles on their hands and feet.
It was interesting timing for the new policy from the man who rose up the ranks of the police force to the most senior position as his reward for overseeing the public prosecutions of three of the Minnis Administration’s political opponents.
Gibson faces 56 counts following allegations that he failed to declare his interest in contracts awarded by WSC.
Gibson allegedly received more than $1 million from contracts granted to Elite Maintenance and Baha Bay and that he laundered the money by purchasing properties and vehicles.
Investigators believe that he was assisted by Donaldson, Rashae, Knowles, Jerome Missick, Tonya Demeritte and Peaches Farquharson.