Kevin Collie Wins His Case But Tribune In Trouble For Their Comments

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The Tribune may be in additional trouble after Kevin Collie, a popular activist who is also a Customs Officer, successfully sued the Bahamas Police Force for false arrest.  The Tribune reported the outcome of the case on their front page on 25 June 2020, faithfully sticking to the facts.  However, in their editorial of the same date, they could not help but make it seem that this was just some technical violation and that Mr. Collie was the author of an offensive song about then Prime Minister Perry Christie and his family.  The real author of the song later apologised to the Christie family but Mr. Collie was arrested and embarrassed by the police in the matter. The court awarded some 60,000 dollars in damages to Mr. Collie. Justice Diane Stewart wrote in her judgement released on 24 June 2020:  “During his arrest, (Mr Collie) was humiliated in front of his peers, his mother and members of the public which no doubt caused much embarrassment to him. His unlawful arrest was excessive as he was not only unreasonably handcuffed but was unnecessarily guarded by about eight officers at various times. In the circumstances, damages are awarded to the plaintiff and assessed at $35,000 as compensation for the torts of unlawful arrest and false imprisonment, Additionally, damages are awarded and assessed at $25,000 for breaches of the plaintiff’s rights as protected by Articles 20 and 21 (of the Constitution).”