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Dec 5, 2017

Police at it Again in Belize City; Randy Chambers Targeted

There is another case involving violent police behavior this time in the Belize City. Three officers were captured on surveillance camera stomping on a young man even as he turns himself in to police in his family’s yard on Police Street Extension.  There does not appear to be any justifiable reason for the attack on Randy Chambers so that his family is preparing to take legal action. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

A trio of officers attached to the Special Assignments Team was caught on closed-circuit television on Monday, roughing up a young man who was in the process of surrendering himself to them peacefully.  According to twenty-year-old Randy Chambers, the policemen descended on the family property, following an incident involving several other young men in the vicinity of Police Street Extension.

 

Randy Chambers

Randy Chambers, Victim of Police Brutality

“When I reach home and thing, di police dehn come.  My bredda tell me di police dehn come ask fi me, but I mi deh ova ya yesterday di bring clothespin fi my old lady cause my old lady mi di wash.  So when I reach back cross ah my house now I sih di police dehn run up pan me and tell me bout stop right deh soh I stop.  I put up my hand pan my head and thing.  Now when I put up my hand pan my head dehn tell me turn round, so I turn round.”

 

In the surveillance footage that has since been posted online, Chambers is seen entering his yard from the nearby property and closing the adjoining gate behind him.  At that moment, a Hispanic officer swiftly approaches from behind and places Chambers in a chokehold, taking him down to the ground in a single maneuver, before proceeding to kick him.

 

Randy Chambers

“When I turn around one ah dehn staat choke me and stone me down pan di ground and whole heap a thing, staat kick me up and stomp me up eena my face and eena my belly, and everything, all eena my back, yo check.  Then when dehn done dehn pick me up and ask me weh di gun deh and thing, so I tell dehn which gun?  Dehn mi just leff from my yard early di mawnin, right.  Tek my picture and everything.  I tell dehn if I mi got any gun you think I mi gwein go pull out any gun atta anybody and unu just cohn tek my picture di mawnin?”

 

Randy’s mother, who asked to appear off camera, says her sons are the victims of constant police harassment.  Despite the frequent, unwarranted visits to her house, she says that it’s the first incident where the officers have gotten physical with him.

 

Voice of: Mother of Randy Chambers

“Yesterday mawnin, dehn come early eena di mawning and dehn seh dehn just come search di place, right.  Alright, I gaan gaan wash and I neva know weh mi di happen to Randy because I neva know nothing bout it.  Da when I come back cross, my next son Rick Chambers, he tell me if I know di police dehn gaan wid Randy, right.  Alright then, so I gaan call my gentleman and he ketch it pan camera weh di police dehn do to Randy.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“My understanding ma’am is that your house has been targeted by the police on a number of occasions.  Do you feel as if though you’re being harassed?  Do you feel as though they are justified in coming into your property looking for guns and ammunitions or whatever it is that they were searching for?”

 

Voice of: Mother of Randy Chambers

“The first time when Randy was there, di gate mi lock, dehn hop di fence and dehn come, dehn seh how dehn cohn cohn search.  So I ask dehn if dehn got any warrant.  Dehn just seh how dehn cohn search fi ammunition.  And afta dat dehn di target dehn bwai.  My two son dehn, dehn di target them.”

 

The unprovoked attack by the police, according to Randy, is the result of an altercation he had with another group of young men in his neighborhood, while he was on his way to purchase some items for his mother.

 

Randy Chambers

“When I reach to di shop I di buy, but when I look back I sih wahn young bwai come outta wahn vehicle and show me wahn gun sign, check.  So when I sih ahn, I tell ahn no show me no gun sign, yo get di sense.  So I gaan home, then I come back out again fi go buy again and I meet my cousin dehn pan di lane.  So when I meet my cousin, I di talk to my cousin and when yo look, fi he bigga bredda meet me pan di lane and run into me eena wahn vehicle.  So when he run into me I put down my bike and set down my bike and me and my cousin dehn come offa fu we bike.  Then when he sih I set down my bike then he come outta ih vehicle and staat run, so which I chase backa he check.  Now when I chase behind he, he run gaan home fi wahn big machete.  So when I sih he gaan home fi wahn big machete I turn back cause I done sih di police mi di cohn and thing, so I turn back and I cohn home.  So di same time I drop di bike and I come home then di man dehn run up da my house and staat beat up me.”

 

The Chambers family says that legal action will be taken against the officers because it is apparent that Randy never resisted arrest, neither did he pose a threat to them in carrying out their duty. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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