Police Shootings in America Trigger Bahamas Advisory for US-Bound Citizens

travel advisory

NASSAU, Bahamas, Tuesday July 12, 2016 – It’s usually the other way around, but the Bahamas is issuing advisories to its citizens who’re planning to go to the United States.

The rare travel advisory cites racial tensions, and recommends that young men in particular exercise caution in cities impacted by recent police shootings.

The Caribbean nation warned its residents, nearly 91 percent of whom are black, to be aware of potentially volatile situations in the US and act accordingly.

“In particular, young males are asked to exercise extreme caution in affected cities in their interactions with the police,” said the advisory issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration. “Do not be confrontational, and cooperate.”

“Pay attention to the public notices and news announcements in the city that you are visiting,” the advisory added.

The government also recommended that its citizens contact consular offices if a situation arose, and discouraged participation in any political or other demonstrations “under any circumstances and avoid crowds.”

The statement provided a list of consular offices in the US for its citizens to contact in case issues arose.

The bulletin did not mention any specific cities or particular incidents, such as the fatal shootings of Alton Sterling by police last Tuesday in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Philando Castile a day later in suburban St Paul, Minnesota.

Five police officers were subsequently killed and seven others wounded at a protest in Dallas — marking the deadliest day for US law enforcement since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks – and the unrest continues.

Micah Xavier Johnson had opened fire on the Dallas police officers and said “he wanted to kill white people, especially white officers,” Dallas Police Chief David Brown said. The 25-year-old who served in the US Army Reserve from 2009 to April last year was killed by a bomb deployed by police, following hours of failed negotiations.

The Bahamas isn’t the only country warning its citizens about the violence. The tiny Middle Eastern island nation of Bahrain has urged citizens to “be cautious of protests or crowded areas occurring around the US” and the United Arab Emirates has also urged its citizens in the United States to be careful.

Usually, it’s the United States government issuing travel advisories to its citizens about trouble spots around the globe.

So far this year, the US State Department has issued 30 warnings — involving unstable government, civil war, ongoing intense crime or violence, or frequent terrorist attacks — and five alerts, for more short-term events.

In January, the US Embassy in Nassau put out a warning over crime in the Bahamian capital, which prompted complaints from business owners in the tourism-dependent nation.

Click here to receive news via email from Caribbean360. (View sample)