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Sep 16, 2011

GSU Officer absconds with citizen’s camera after photo taken

Murphy McLaren

Minister of Police Doug Singh offered a reward to the public on September Fifteenth, 2010 for anyone who can prove police misconduct. He said, “There are simple things like public drinking and behavior of police officers.… that we are going to encourage people to use their cell phones and take pictures of these things. We are going to find the police officers and we are going to give a reward for the individuals who use their phones to get the kind of evidence because I think we need to start to make people responsible for their actions.” Well there is one citizen who is crying foul because he did exactly what Singh asked for. Murphy McLaren says that he caught uniformed officers conducting private affairs in government vehicles. He took their picture and that’s when he claimed that an officer known as Itza robbed him. McLaren told News Five that Itza allegedly stole his camera after he took his picture in front of a bank earlier today.

Murphy McLaren, Alleges GSU Cop Stole his Camera

“Two policemen since this morning use the B.D.F. truck to drop off their girlfriends to work and the GSU policeman use the government vehicle, motorcycle to do his own private business on government time. I took the picture of the motorcycle and I took the picture of the policeman—you can’t see whose face it is, but it shows that it’s a uniformed policeman. The bredda ride up to me and ih ask me what I do? I said I take ih picture because yo di do private work pan government time. Ih ask mi mek ih see di picture. I showed him both pictures. He snatched the camera out of my hand, put it ina ih pocket, get pan ih cycle and ih tell me; “You come da station fi yo camera and tell dehn me, P.C. Itza from GSU have your camera.” I call my peoples and dehn tell me to call Mr. Aragon. Mr. Aragon tell me to see Mr. Rivero. Mr. Rivero called GSU. The man acknowledge ih have my camera. But Mr. Vidal want Mister Rivero tell me fi mek I wait till Mister Vidal come. Mr. Vidal, me and you can’t talk no word unless I commit a crime. You can’t detain me, you can’t send fi me, I noh want talk to you. So make I tell yo something, give me my camera. Mr. Doug Singh, you said, if we see police out of order, take their pictures and prove it to yo and unu wah pay me. Well I got di man dehn di use government vehicle di drop off dehn gial and fi do dehn own private business dah work. Mister Vidal, yo noh wah abuse me; I talk ‘bout you and the DPP official, based on government official business. As a Belizean, I think unu outta order and I wah tell unu so. Me no di hide, me no wah run, unu noh wah send fi me, I noh gwen no way.”

Jose Sanchez

“Mister McLaren, someone walks up to you on the street and takes your private belonging. That is called theft.”

Murphy McLaren

“I consider the policeman thief my camera.”

Jose Sanchez

“But are you willing to file a report?”

Murphy McLaren

“I wa file wah report. I done tell Mr. Rivero already that dah thief dehn thief my camera.”

Jose Sanchez

“And are you also going to internal affairs?”

Murphy McLaren

“I went to internal affairs; da Mister Rivero deh deh. Mister Rivero call di man dah GSu. Di man dah GSU tell Mister Rivero fi make I wait till he come. Mister Vidal; me noh have no dealings with him. Mister Vidal, yo policeman thief my camera. Mister Doug Singh, please, you dah di Minister of Police, me dah no criminal—you can check my record  globally. Most ah di policeman dehn outta order but this bredda, Mister Vidal, and ih GSU way outta order. Unu give me back by belonging bredda.”

So will Minister Singh now take action? We’ll find out in the days to come.

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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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14 Responses for “GSU Officer absconds with citizen’s camera after photo taken”

  1. Undecided says:

    Happy that someone is standing up to these people who are abusing their authority!!!!

  2. gud citizen says:

    its true about the fact that sometimes police use the government time, but all policeman are human beings and have them family and also there is nothing wrong to make sure they drop their loved ones at their work site instead of them walking the ugly and dangerous streets of Belize.

  3. M. Jackson says:

    The police threatened to put me in jail when I took a picture of them after Hurricane Iris back in 2001. Singh should know that this what would happen – the police don’t like anyone taking pictures of them and always tell people who do that it’s against the law. If Singh doesn’t take immediate action on this, then his “reward” means nothing because the police will continue to abuse their power, in this and many more serious ways.

  4. cg says:

    You guys should keep updated on this story, the embarrasment alone will pull them out of hiding..damn thieves

  5. Islandboy70 says:

    Mr. Mclaren did the right thing. It has become the norm for the authorities including BDF, ministers and police officers to abuse their privileges of using government vehicles for private use. This is our tax dollars going down the drain and it must be stopped. Now, Officer Itza could have leave that alone and got a slap on the wrist or a reprimand only from his superiors but it goes to show that our police officers do not respect the law. They believe that they can slap you across the face, beat you up if they feel like it because they are above the law and they can do whatever they please. Mr. Itza should be suspended, the least, from his duties for taking away Mr. Mclaren’s property. I am sure that he already deleted the photos. He could have left this man alone with his camera and I am sure that upon seeing the photos, the minister would have only called him in and gave him a warning about Mr. Mclaren’s complaint. Now Mr. Itza, you are now an icon to the mentality of most police officers. Hope some good come out of this.

  6. Jenn says:

    Deeds not words, Mr. Singh!! If you want people to take pictures of your corrupted police force, then don’t allow your police to get away with punishing the innocent public who are turning them in. If you want Belize to be a good country, then allow the public to help clean it up. Belize is now the number one murder capital in the world! Also, stop arresting innocent citizens. Make it a law that your officers can no longer arrest citizens unless they have legitimate evidence to hold them on. They need to arrest the guilty ones who are identified by their victims, instead of letting the guilty go.

  7. jenny says:

    Belize is the number one murder capital in the world!
    police corruption, I think so!!!

  8. jenny says:

    Don’t belize cops have to have an education like cops in other countrys. It does not appear so. They sound like a bunch of teenage gangbangers who are too dumb for university. They never learn respect for fellow citizens and to uphold the law.

  9. Storm says:

    Police who commit crimes must get DOUBLE the prison sentence of non-officers for all offences.

    And no probation or fine, just jail.

    We must enforce TOUGH laws against dirty cops.

    And I say we need to pay officers a lot more, so we get the best and most honest people to work there.

  10. msssn says:

    well well dem lone bash up the Police dem. let me start fist does this guy want to drop the man girl da work o u want his lady. i no see noting wrong in wa the police dem do every one does it well u try and secure your family first right after all there is little time to do so many stuff. and my Belizean people u take pics of cops to wa?? to mess up them life style and mek them a criminal. y not take the pics of the man wen he pass u house with a gun in his hand HUH? o wen he jsut shoot some one and he pass u house HUH? and show THAT to the Police? u scared fu do that CHU? all Belize city people know people that have illegal firearm but trust me they no say noting till dem shoot dem family den huh dem come out and baaaal lol come on BELIZEAN it takes a village to raise a child it takes community effort to make the place safe not the police they just help out!! and currupt cops must go cause dem spoil the good ones

  11. Dirty sugar!!!! says:

    Look people–

    I realy feel sorry for the Belizean public — are you aware that police officers are not paid well —- dont work under the best of conditions — are not treated well — are very over worked and dont spend much time with their families —— because they have to be out on the streets trying to protect law abiding –”working People”. During the night time rain or shine they have to go to work to protect people and this is the thanks they get——– all the police should just stop working for one day —— please — all the police should go on strike and demand better working conditions!!!!!!!!!

  12. tybeejj says:

    Dirty sugar, the police man who stole this honest citizens camera was indeed a dirty cop and so were the cops who prevented him from getting it back. If you are a dirty sugar cop and want to go on strike then do so. Maybe you can strike for innocent law abiding police force and then get better pay. Bad pay is no excuse for breaking the law especially when you can choose another career.

  13. tybeejj says:

    Murphy Mclaren, you are a good man. You were doing what Mr. Singh told the citizens to do.

  14. prayingfor my country says:

    For all who are trying to justify the police action: if he did nothing wrong why didn’t he leave it up to his superiors to determine he did nothing wrong…these police are not protecting anyone but themselves.

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