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Jun 20, 2017

Chester Williams takes on media over Castro decision

Now, Assistant Commissioner of Police Chester Williams sat before the press on Monday and spent nearly half an hour explaining why police chose not to charge twenty-three year old Wasani, and twenty-one year old Jafari Castro, sons of Minister Edmond Castro, for an incident early on Friday morning when the brothers were stopped for speeding on East Collet Canal in the Conch Shell Bay Area. The pair did not take kindly to being informed of committing any offense, and proceeded to curse, bully and eventually assault the officer. But they in turn claim that when they were taken to the station on Euphrates Avenue, they were roughed up by police as well. The counter-complaints cancelled each other out for A.C.P. Williams, but does the insistence on a clean investigation outweigh allowing a pair of youngsters to get out of consequences? Aaron Humes looks back at the extraordinary interview.

 

Aaron Humes, Reporting

Perhaps the only man with more headaches this weekend than Minister Edmond Castro was Assistant Commissioner of Police Chester Williams. The Southside commander was in quite the pickle – make a splashy arrest of two Minister’s sons for tangling with his officers at a traffic stop, or let them go and be accused of political subservience. He tried the middle ground but seemed to clash with his own officers, who allege that they were assaulted during an altercation in the police station – which he says they provoked.

 

Reporter

“At precinct one P.C. Dionicio Coc alleges that Wasani Castro, twenty-three years old, assaulted him.”

 

ACP Chester Williams, Regional Commander, Eastern Division South

ACP Chester Williams

“That’s because he had the phone in the man’s face, provoking the man. As police officers we must respect people. The law does make provision that the police can video or take pictures of persons who are arrested; but we are to do so in a professional manner, not with our own cell phones. It must be done with the camera which is authorized by the Department – that is to be done at Scenes of Crime Unit or at the respective police stations – like here at Racoon [Street] have the cell block and we have a camera there that takes photographs of people but not with our cell phones. So we cannot provoke a situation, and when people react we want to charge them; we have to be fair to people.”

 

Then there was a strange confession: the Crime Information Management System which keeps a record of police reports and information, could be manipulated to contain a false report – or at least, that’s what ACP Williams posited, though it should not stop an aggrieved officer from arresting the suspects:

Reporter

“But sir, you have something in your system and it’s factually there, I can prove it.”

 

ACP Chester Williams

“Well, I know you have impeccable sources within the police department.”

 

Reporter

“But it says that he was charged.”

 

ACP Chester Williams

“But your sources as impeccable as they are, they are releasing false information to you because that is not so.”

 

Reporter

“But your CIMS system has false information; it could be because a senior officer intervened to stop the process.”

 

ACP Chester Williams

“I can say I have gone to space, does it mean I have been there? No.”

Reporter

“How have you proven that it’s not true? Were you present at the time?”

 

ACP Chester Williams

“I was present, no charges were ever read to the men.”

 

Williams clarified that he was not at either Conch Shell Bay or Euphrates Avenue but Racoon Street. As for the vehicle involved, the Wingle stopped by P.C. Caliz and W.P.C. Young had no license sticker but there was no charge for that, or indeed any of the other offenses alleged to have been committed. But according to Williams, it cannot be said that the vehicle they left with was the same vehicle as that later impounded by Customs Department in Orange Walk that evening with eighty-nine cases of contraband Corona beer, because that did not have a license plate either:

 

ACP Chester Williams

“I don’t know the vehicle. I have not seen the vehicle. I don’t know if it’s the same two young men that were in orange walk. I don’t know if it’s the same vehicle. I don’t know. And I will not comment on something I know nothing about.”

 

And after seemingly throwing his officers under the bus – though he denied it directly – ACP Williams cut the interview short he was accused of the very thing he had been trying to avoid – arranging to let the guilty go free on technicalities.

 

 

Reporter

“It seems you are an orchestrator of arrangements to protect the powerful from criminal charges. It seems like that sir.”

 

Reporter

“Not only that, also your police officers who you are saying engaged in police brutality against citizens.”

 

ACP Chester Williams

“I am not going to dignify any of your last two comments with an answer. I know me and I know what I stand for. That does not mean that I will play into what you want me to say, period, full stop.”

 

And that, as they say, is that. Or is it? Aaron Humes reporting for News Five.

 

This afternoon when we contacted him the Minister said he had no comment at all.

 

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4 Responses for “Chester Williams takes on media over Castro decision”

  1. Belizean pride says:

    It’s really a s hame how our justice system has reach under corruption and certain people have immunity in everything due to strings attached. All along Mr. Chester was well respected but his going down slowly with this case which is hard to comprehend how a ACP is being used by political affairs to divert the justice system in front of our faces.
    When a civilian is caught in contraband he is being squeezed with high penalty with hefty fines but this ministers sons it’s a slap in the wrist and with respect and apologize given wow really.

  2. Clue says:

    You all don’t know a lot about Chester; if you knew, you wouldn’t have been so quick to praise him.

  3. Clue says:

    LOL. HOW MUCH ARE YOU GOING TO GET OUT OF THIS CHESTER? Those of us who know you are cognizant of the fact that you’re not as genuine and caring about the crime in Belize. I’ve read mixed emotions about your pending transfer to Belmopan; that might just be the best thing to do, a desk job. Many may not understand why I made that statement but I will provide a little insight. TO YOU, MY FRIEND, LISA SHOMAN, I SAW YOUR POST ON FACEBOOK. NEVER PUT YOUR HEAD ON THE CHOPPING BLOCK FOR ANYONE . YOU KNOW WHAT CHESTER WANTS YOU TO SEE AND KNOW. I ALSO SAW ONE MS RAMOS GETTING INTO A VERBAL BACK AND FORTH FOR HIM AS A FAMILY MEMBER. Let’s enlighten some of you. Ask Chester what happened years ago when he was living in Pen Road in Belize City. There was also a second allegation a few years later. ASK CHESTER WHY HE AND BROASTER DON’T SEE EYE TO EYE ANYMORE AFTER BEING CHUMMY BUDDIES IN THEIR EARLIER YEARS ON THE FORCE. ASK CHESTER HOW HE MADE IT THROUGH SJC SIXTH FORM AND ABLE TO ACQUIRE HIS LAW CERTIFICATE FROM UWI. I CALL IT LAW CERTIFICATE BECAUSE MANY OF YOU CALL THEM LAWYERS BUT IN ACUTALITY, NINETY PERCENT OF THEM AREN’T PASSING AND UWI IS USHERING THEM THROUGH INSTEAD OF WASTING TIME AND MONEY. THERE WAS ONE CONSTANT IN HIS EDUCATIONAL CAREER AT SJC AND UWI, A YOUNG MAN WHO HE COPIED HIS ASS OFF OF AND WHO WROTE MANY OF HIS PAPERS. ASK CHESTER IF A POLICEMAN’S SALARY GIVES HIM WHAT HE HAS BEEN BUILDING DOWN SOUTH. ASK CHESTER WHAT’S THE REAL REASON WHY THERE’S ARMED PERSONELL THROUGH THE NARROW STRETS BY WHERE THE MEIGHAN BROTHERS LIVE; IS IT ACTUALLY FOR CRIME PREVENTION OR TO SERVE HIS OWN PERSONAL AGENDA? I CAN TELL YOU MANY MORE. So, Lisa, and Ms. Ramos, especially you Lisa, don’t stick your neck out, you might get it chopped off. CHESTER ONLY SERVES ONE PERSON’S AGENDA, AND THAT’S CHESTER!

  4. Jaire slalzar says:

    Chester! You will get a whipping when time is rite. You are now officially a disgrace to the police force.
    I am sure that the scumbag politicians now welcome you aboard the suck @#$% cruise
    NOW we know where we stand; when our leaders do this ^&*(! why not follow and do the same.
    Don’t blame society for what it is! Blame yourselves for what you have made it become.
    Corrupt! Dishonest! Feeble! Pugnacious! Irresponsible! Depraved………

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