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Mar 16, 2018

Cops Caught on Camera Harassing Avocado Vendor

Around six o’clock on Thursday evening, there was a ruckus outside the Michael Finnegan Market, Belize City that quickly became violent. Officers attached to the Special Patrol Unit were caught on camera man-handling avocado farmer, Lauriel Novelo. The video shows three officers dressed in camouflage uniforms – at least one holding a high powered rifle – tugging at Novelo who was dressed in khaki cargo pants and a green shirt. The officers confiscated six sacks of avocados, suspected to be contraband produce. But the incident escalated when two other sacks containing cauliflower, broccoli and beet were also taken by the officers even though the veggies did not belong to the Corozal farmer. Novelo resisted and clung to a lamppost, but the officers got the better of him and whisked him away.  One vendor questions whether the hostility by the officers was warranted.

 

Voice of: Market Vendor

“I was finishing closing my business when I went outside and I noticed that. And I asked why they stopped those guys and they said that they think it is contraband; but I said, these are local avocados. My concern was that they didn’t move. They tried to call other people, but nobody came so they stayed there at least more than half an hour. So we said let us stay and see what would happen. And then a next patrol reach in a car and they start to talk and say dah the avocados dehn di ker and they put it ina di truck. The young bwai was willing to go with them, but then they put two other stuff that did not belong to him so that’s when he refused to get into the truck. So that’s when police aggressively just grab the man and try put him in the truck and that’s when we stand up and try mek dehn noh do that to the man. But we feared if we jump in more we get shot.”

 

Duane Moody

“In your opinion, it was totally unnecessary what was happening?”

 

Voice of: Market Vendor

“Unnecessary. It’s food; it’s not drugs. It’s not like he is bringing marijuana, cocaine or gun or something; it is food, people—I guess even the police people eat avocados. So why would you brutalize somebody that kinda way just for food? Why don’t you do that to the people who are selling the drugs?”

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1 Response for “Cops Caught on Camera Harassing Avocado Vendor”

  1. Moretodat says:

    because wen police do dat to criminals d same people cry bout dam human rights n that they no deserve dat.mek dem same criminals go ina u house.wat wud u want to do n no try sugar coat it.belizeans are more backstabbers dan anything.

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