Senator Fred Mitchell with Garvin Butler and other friends outside St Mark’s Church in Fox Hill for the funeral of former constituent David Nicolls 16 December
In Fox Hill on Saturday 16 December, David Nicolls who was also known as David Rolle was buried from St Mark’s Native Baptist Church. He was just thirty something. Although he was born in The Bahamas and lived there all of his life and knew no other country, he was Haitian at his death because he did not apply to get Bahamian citizenship. Bahamian citizenship is not conferred automatically at birth to people who are not born to Bahamian parents. The law which changed in 1973 has created a great deal of hardship, creating an under class of mainly Haitian and Jamaican immigrants who refuse to take on the nationality of their birth and then blame Bahamian society for the prejudice which they inevitably suffer because of the law. The matter is in clear focus because one of Hubert Minnis’ ministers Frankie Campbell is the product of such a person. According to the Minister, his mother came here as an illegal immigrant. He was born to that illegal immigrant. Frankie Campbell though is one of the success stories, the lucky ones. More often than not, people like Frankie Campbell are destined to live a life of poverty and deprivation and prejudice in a state that does not want them to be here but at the same time wants them to do the manual labour. David’s story is somewhat more typical in that he was involved in petty crime and the police say some major crimes, like murder and murder for hire. The Fox Hill Community where he lived and grew up does not believe the police version of how he died. They claim it was an extra judicial killing, staged by the police who the community says put a gun in his hand. This is dangerous stuff. What we do know is that friends warned David that the police were convinced that he was the source of all the killings and murder that has been going on in Fox Hill for the last two years and they were determined to get him and that he should be warned. In the result, he ignored the warning, perhaps didn’t have the smarts to do so, or maybe he didn’t know where to go, Just as he could never seem to get his act together to get the citizenship. He has left behind a son and daughter, a bitter community toward the police. The evidence didn’t seem to point to him being a big time hood, just a petty criminal but that argument is now left to survivors. He is dead and the community feels not good about it even as the police are satisfied that they got their man and the mayhem in Fox Hill should now cease.