Bermuda’s Commissioner of Police said today he was “extremely humbled and quite moved – extremely moved with the events of this afternoon”, that saw thousands of residents take to the streets of Hamilton to protest police brutality and racism.
Speaking at a news conference after the march he said: “What a fantastic afternoon and I feel extremely humbled and quite moved – extremely moved with the events of this afternoon.
“We anticipate round about 7,000 were in attendance today, which was assisted by a nice breakthrough in the weather.”
But others say today’s demonstration could be the biggest Bermuda has ever seen, with some estimates on turnout as high as 10,000 people.
For an event of this magnitude, Mr Corbishley said: “I just want to express my appreciation to the organisers, who have engaged with us throughout the process within a, where we were able to facilitate the march today. And we’re there to support such protests and the BPS worked in partnership with the community.
“It was fantastic to see everybody there and acknowledge the anger expressed in regards to issues of police brutality and racial prejudice, which is an expression that’s being looked at throughout the world at this present stage.”
Accompanied by Deputy Commissioner Darrin Simons, Mr Corbishley added: “But protests are fantastic to raise views, but my commitment and that of Mr Simons and the Bermuda Police Service is to embrace not just the energy but the opportunity for change.
“Over the next couple of days we’re going to announce some plans in regards to how we can build on the confidence across all communities but particularly the Black community about how we can serve better, how we can be more transparent and how we can engage more effectively.
“And my plans are to utilise the Bermuda Police Services’ advisory group and I look forward to a meeting with Mr Dean Parris this week to discuss. But I also want help from the community and I’ve already benefitted by a number of people who contacted me directly to offer support.because policing is about communities and the BPS is a community police service.
“So to shape one without the involvement, direction and advice of the community would be naive.
“So I look forward to that process and a commitment to change to make things better.”
Moving forward, the Commissioner said: “We have many challenges but I do believe that the vast, vast majority of the Bermuda Police Service are there for the challenge and they work each and every day, 24 hours throughout the year to support communities, to support victims and to protect them.
“So I celebrate today, I congratulate the organisers.”
In closing, he said: “There was a lot of love out there, which I think sets the tone for how we move forward and hope we could all embrace the opportunity that lies ahead.”
We’ll have more on today’s march in subsequent reports.
Feature Photos Courtesy of TNN