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Mar 28, 2018

Chester Buries Hatchet with Mayflower Residents, but They Chase Him Off Turf

Tensions have been high in the Mayflower Street neighborhood after residents and GSU personnel clashed on Sunday evening, following the burial of slain gang boss Kendis Flowers. The Ministry of National Security has since justified the conduct of the Gang Suppression Unit, denouncing the actions of the residents. Since then, they have gone on the media to cry foul on the ministry, as well as the Belize Police Department, namely, Deputy Commissioner of Police Chester Williams. But that didn’t stop Williams from walking through Ghost Town this afternoon. And he barely made it into the first property on Mayflower Street when he was promptly declared persona non grata. Kendis Flowers’ relatives chased him out and shouted at him, refusing to talk and engage. Others in the areas were very hostile and were vocal about how they felt about Williams. As you will know, Williams has worked extensively in that community when he was Commander of Eastern Division South. Today he was not welcome. We spoke with him immediately after the visit on Mayflower Street and he says those sentiments are only shared by a select few and that what has transpired is water under the bridge – although it didn’t appear that way today. Here’s what he had to say.

 

Chester Williams

Chester Williams, Deputy Commissioner (Operations)

“The truth is, for the most part, residents are receptive to the police in Mayflower. In terms of how those who are disgruntled feel, that is how they feel. I respect that. I am not going to demonize them for how they feel and I have done a lot of work in the Mayflower area and I know for a fact that there are good people in Mayflower. As a police department, we are going to continue our effort in working with the good people in Mayflower and even those who we believe, from time to time, may want to engage in criminal activities because our duty is to serve all regardless of who they are or what they may have done. And that will continue.”

 

Reporter

“Mister Williams, you are the one who sent the GSU here on Sunday. Given the reality of what happened and you have had a chance to look at everything, do you think you were justified in sending the GSU or you have second thoughts about that now given what has escalated?”

 

Chester Williams

“I don’t see nothing escalating. That matter where that operation is concerned with GSU coming into Mayflower has been dealt with a press release from our Ministry and I am not going to go over that. Miss Uter herself has also said that that is done and we must put it behind us and why must we continue to dwell over it? That issue as far as I am concerned is dead and we are now looking at forging the path forward.”

 

Reporter

“It is not dead to the resident, though; it is not dead for them?”

 

Chester Williams

“Like I said, that is how they feel and they are entitled to that. The fact that they feel that way, I have said I am not going to demonize them. I have nothing against them for how they feel and I respect that. I will continue to ensure that we work with them and get them over the feeling that they are having.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Mister Williams, considering that you are now in charge of operations, is there anything that you will be looking at in terms of the way the GSU carry out these operations in these sensitive and volatile communities?”

 

Chester Williams

“Well, policing is progressive. And every day we need to review what we do and how we do it. Yes, as part of my responsibility as Commander of Operations, is to ensure that whenever we go out and discharge any functions or engage in any operations that we try our best to do it as  professional as we can.”

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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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