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Oct 12, 2016

Young woman alleges police brutality at traffic stop

What was supposed to be a routine traffic stop on Northside Belize City this past Friday night became an explosive instance of alleged police brutality. The complainant is a young woman who was on her way to drop off a friend when she arrived at a police checkpoint along Newtown Barracks and was asked for her driver’s license. An apparent delay in getting the license led to uncharacteristic violence from the officers involved and charges and counter-charges. The complainant asked that neither her face nor other identity be shown. She details what happened and the lesson she has learned from it.

 

Voice of: Police Brutality Victim

“I was on my way home, well, to drop off a friend; I had a passenger with me. We came to the checkpoint in front of Elements. I was stopped by a police officer; I was asked to produce my license. I did have it on me; I couldn’t locate my wallet at the time, so they had me pull over, which I did. After pulling over I got out of my vehicle and went around to the back to search for my wallet to produce my license. The male officer that pulled me over refused to let me search my vehicle. He started pulling me, dragging me away from the vehicle. I shook him off, went back and told him, ‘You asked me for a license; I can produce it, I just need to get it from my vehicle.’ I made another attempt to search, and then he grabbed me again. This time, threw me against the car and raised his hand as if he was about to hit me. That’s when I grabbed his arm, just as he was about to hit me, and I start cursing him, because at this point he had no right to touch me at all. I guess a female officer was nearby saw the incident, ran up, and I don’t know if I am allowed to curse, but she started cursing that she could be a bad bitch too. She then grabbed me, put me in cuffs, they dragged me to their vehicle, put me in the back of the vehicle. It was her on the left hand side and the male officer jumped in on the right. He held me down while she choked me. My hands were in cuffs in front of me, so I tried elbowing her to get her off me. I shook her off me for a bit and that is when she bit me in my back. She then tried choking me again. The second time she choked me I almost passed out. I kept hitting her, she eventually released me. All this happened on our way to the police station. When we got there, they took me out, they dragged me to a cell, threw me in there; didn’t tell me why they were holding me, didn’t give me a call, nothing. I pretty much stayed there until late Sunday night, when I released. They did allow me to go to the hospital, but that was like the Saturday morning, when the doctor did an X-ray and said that I have – they fractured my toe, and then they checked the bite mark. They put it down as wounding.”

 

Reporter

“Before this did you expect this kind of treatment from Police?

 

Voice of: Police Brutality Victim

“Over a driver’s license? (Laughs) No, not over a driver’s license. I mean, they were right there. If when he pulled me over, he’d give me the chance, my right, to produce the driver’s license, it didn’t have to get this far.”

 

The complainant was read charges of wounding and assault in the Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday and pleaded not guilty to the latter, while the former was dropped. But no charges were brought in relation to the driver’s license – because it was eventually produced. The police were heard to say that they no longer cared about the license. According to the complainant, she refused a blood test but can confirm she was not under the influence of any substance during the incident. She plans to press criminal charges of wounding against the woman officer who attacked her for the bite mark and other injuries she sustained. But, she now fears for her life as she overheard police discussing the possibility of “killing” her while she was locked up and she believes they will continue to try to harass her until she returns to court in December.

 

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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4 Responses for “Young woman alleges police brutality at traffic stop”

  1. OriginalWoman says:

    Belize police are beginning to act like cops in America…..and towards their own people, why??????

  2. Truth betold says:

    BS!!! She is majorly downplaying her part, typical poor me ima victim of color not my own actions.
    When you go to take your drivers test to obtain a license part of it is instructions of what to do when pulled over. YOU DO NOT GET OUT OF THE VEHICLE FOR ANY REASON,UNLESS OFFICER ALLOWS IT. Why would license be in the trunk? Thats stupid. With all the craziness & violence going on her getting out & “looking” for something is easily mistaken for getting a weapon. No doubt she was yelling popping off with a ghetto attitude & resisting like they love to do. Wow broken toe how horrific. Act right get treated right wake up.

  3. joe says:

    beginning to act like cops in America? stop playing now. As far as I can remember, they’ve been acting this way. I wonder how is it they have the energy and time to attack a civilian for taking too long to produce a license but can’t find the cold blooded murders in all these unsolved cases.

  4. justice4u says:

    There are indeed goood cops,i know end of the day its not a easy job.I believe the minister need to lookk into these matter and take it more seriously cause some of these officers carry their problem on their shoulder and just abuse pppl for no valid reason.End of the day everything is just understanding,why being ignorant..Especially these rookies in the streets,,all they do is live on their phhone while on duty and quick to attack individuals in a aggressive manner like they are animals.Remember no matter where you go respect ppl and this is what they are lack of i’m telling you.

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