- The following post was published overnight on Sunday, May 31, 2020 on Facebook by Police Commissioner Stephen Corbishley…
I wanted to write something from the heart this evening.
I’ve been doing a daily VLOG not for the sake of it but to offer myself as someone who genuinely is committed to serve the communities of Bermuda and to enable the BPS to be professional, caring and above all trusted.
However, this doesn’t happen with some video updates and a few funny lines.
It has meant a lot of changes to the BPS and more to come.
Whether it be community policing as the most important part of our business to, without regret, having to deal with a small minority of the BPS through arrest, court appearances and dismissal.
I also don’t say a small minority to suggest it’s not a big issue to address, the bottom line is one bad cop and their deeds can destroy a reputation, cause harm to victims and they have no place in the police service.
Like a lot of people, I am both appalled and saddened to the killing of Mr George Floyd by Minneapolis policeman Derek Chauvin.
I cannot imagine the heartache of George’s family and whilst I have met many many families who have lost loved ones, to lose someone at the hands of the police, who should be there to support and protect, is truly devastating.
I can understand the protests now taking place across the United States and whilst I do not condone the associated violence I can understand it. Black communities are angry.
I’m a white guy. From the UK. Grey hair and don’t claim to be anything other than me. However, I grew up in Manchester in a multicultural community. I saw racism first hand and hated it, even though I didn’t suffer it. I saw riots in Moss Side, literally, after acts of police brutality towards black communities elsewhere in the UK. As a kid I was bullied because I had black friends but it was nothing compared to what my mates suffered. I was also brought up in a Christian family where loving thy neighbor was lived by.
I hear often in policing the comment ‘I treat everyone the same’. This misses the point as you are not seeing the person, their needs, their culture, their ethnicity, their self.
So, my point is this, the BPS is there to look after all communities but it is also there to recognize that for some, enabling trust is a challenge because of history and how some have been (wrongly) treated.
So, I write this to be open to the fact that I recognize the killing of Mr Floyd resonates within black communities across the world, including Bermuda.
Black lives do matter and I am committed to that as the Police Commissioner. Yes I am white guy, however my mum taught me to love my neighbor and that is one of my core values.
Next week there is discussions to have a march in Bermuda in response to the Minneapolis killing and in support of Black Lives matter.
The BPS will support it.
Additionally, I will march alongside my fellow man and woman to support them and seek to build even more trust in the BPS.