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Nov 3, 2011

Tourist mistreated by Police

In the past month, at least seven cruise visitors to the jewel have been taken to court on drug related charges; often for a stick or two of weed. There is a pattern to the booming marijuana trade at the Tourism Village. The unsuspecting visitors are approached by locals who peddle the drugs once they get out of the village. They are observed by the watchful eyes of the tourism police, and on their return to the gates, they are busted. A female visitor this morning was roughed up by the police who suspected that she had weed. Hell broke loose at the spectacle of the cops assaulting a woman. It was all caught on camera and News Five’s Delahnie Bain reports.

Delahnie Bain, Reporting

Chaos erupted on North Front Street this afternoon when a female cruise visitor was seriously manhandled by at least two policemen. It was all triggered by a single stick of weed that she allegedly swallowed. A group of tourism workers swarmed the area and part of the incident was caught on a cell phone camera. You can see Christal Poyner surrounded by uniformed cops and tourism police. She tries to move away and is held around the neck by one of the officers. Once he loosened his grip, Poyner bent over and started regurgitating. The entire back of her pants was clearly soaked and witnesses say that’s because she was dragged through water that had settled on the street. Poyner was then taken into the tourist village but by then the now riled up crowd of spectators was infuriated by the way the woman was roughed up by the two male cops.

{footage from amateur video….Crowd yelling after she is taken inside…}

Security guards at the tourism village had to close the gates to keep the angry mob outside. And when a police vehicle arrived to pick up Poyner it was taken into a corner of the compound in an attempt to evade the crowd and the media. But our cameras caught an aerial view of Poyner getting into the vehicle before it sped off.

The incident raised the ire of many locals and is bad news for tourism in Belize, but the president of the Tourist Village Taxi Association notes that while the cops were wrong, so was Poyner for having the marijuana.

John Pollard, President, Tourist Village Taxi Association

“If the male police actually did what people are saying he did then hey that’s simply wrong. That’s a female that was involved and for a male actually to be beating her up like what was said, then that is wrong if that’s the way it went.”

Delahnie Bain

John Pollard

“What do you think an incident like this can do to our tourism industry?”

John pollard

“An incident like this can hurt us but at the same time drugs is what we’re against out here. Drugs is what we’re against. Apparently the police were closing in on the tourist and the tourist saw the cops coming and put the drug in her mouth and swallowed it. That’s what happened.”

Delahnie Bain for News Five.

Today another tourist found himself in trouble with the law when he was also found in possession of the weed. Twenty-six year old US national, Matthew Heissien Butle was arraigned before Magistrate Albert Hoare on a single charge of possession of a controlled drug. Matthew pleaded guilty and was fined three hundred dollars which he had to pay forthwith.  Matthew paid the fine this afternoon and was free to go. He was busted on Wednesday at the Belize Tourist Village.

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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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17 Responses for “Tourist mistreated by Police”

  1. Storm says:

    Keystone Kops — what a sad comedy. Tourism is our only flickering light of hope, and GOB will snuff that out, too.

  2. Charlie Price says:

    STOP TERRORIZING PEOPLE FOR A LITTLE WEED.
    Doesn’t Belize police have better things to do?????

    Why didn’t POLICE BUST THE DRUG DEALER.?????

  3. Gazombadam says:

    It is always annoying that police will wait for the person to buy the drugs then arrest them. Why the hell they don’t find the source of the drugs and arrest those persons selling it. That is tackling the root of the problem. I have seen it several times. They go and make a big show trying to find the drugs from the person who just bought it. All this in front of the house where he just bought it. Now common sense, it will be more productive to enter the house where it was bought and arrest the seller not the buyer. Lame.

  4. Gaz says:

    Another great way to hurt the tourism industry!

  5. MACAL RIVERA says:

    I AGREE THAT TOURISTS MUST ABIDE BY THE RULES OF THE BELIZE, I ASK THEM TO PLEASE RESPECT THOSE LAWS WHEN THEY VISIT OUT JEWEL.

    HOWEVER I MUST SAY THAT THE POLICE OFFICERS BEHAVIOUR IS UNACCEPTABLE, THEY HAD NO RIGHT TO HANDLE THE POOR WOMAN THE WAY THEY DID, A STICK OF WEED IS NOTHING COMPARED TO A MAN RAPING A CHILD, THIS IS HOW I WOULD LIKE TO SEE POLICE OFFICER HANDLE THOSE MURDERERS AND RAPIST. I AM POSITIVE SURE THAT SOME POLICEMEN SMOKE “WAN LEE STICK A WEED” SOMETIMES.

    I AM SO ASHAMED HOW THE FEMALE OFFICER BEHAVE, I CALL ON THE COMMISSIONER OF POLICE TO INVESTIGATE THIS INCIDENT AND PLEASE FIRE THOSE TWO OFFICERS I SAW ON NEWS.

    MR JEFFRIES YOU WANT PROVE!!!! WATCH CHANNEL FIVE AND SEVEN.

  6. Yandeh says:

    Why the heck are you bothering the tourist for a stick of weed. They are using it for their personal use, idiots!!! You should be dealing with the belizeans who are selling it to them, which I wouldn’t doubt the police are workiing with them to set up the tourists!!!

  7. Dirty sugar!!!! says:

    NICE WORK POLICE — KEEP DRIVING THE TOURIST AWAY FROM BELIZE — THAT LADY SHOULD SUE THE DEPARTMENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. IloveuBelize says:

    I’m not saying that it was right for the lady to have a stick of weed but Police need to focus on those selling the drugs. Who knows, maybe the seller in his glee and eagerness to sell the weed tells these tourists that its ok in Belize to buy and have small amounts on their possession. Thats the way some of these tour guides and taxi operators hustle on the side.

  9. belizeanpride says:

    now those officers should not be promoted for mistreating a lady. we call onto the department to release them from their post if they have been promoted. how the hell can they be promoted to higher ranks when they can’t even handle a case like this. jeez really embarrassing. the lady might be wrong but it’s not the way of professional officers to deal with a case like this.

  10. NewSoul says:

    Killing the tourism industry over a PLANT that kills ZERO people annually. The laws against marijuana are archaic at best, superstitious at worst. This nonesense has got to stop.

    People have so many misconceptions about marijuana they applaud the police for beating up the young men who FARM and distribute this PLANT and now they’ve gone on to beat up female tourists. Great.

    Meanwhile, back in the US it’s sold everywhere legally. Jeez we’re stupid.

  11. Justice says:

    When will the person be arrested for raping the 4 year old!!!!

  12. Elgin Martinez says:

    Been a tourist doesn’t mean that you should get off for breaking the law.Belizeans can’t go anywhere and break the law without been held responsible for their actions,look at for eg how many Belizeans have been deported from the US for petty offense.Wake up Belize and stop kissing @.

  13. islander says:

    With the amount of CRUISE TOURISTS police arrest on a weekly basis for weed one would think that the Police know where they are buying the drugs and from whom.

    It looks like the cops might even be collaborating with the drug dealers and then making the bust so that they look good in the eyes of JOE PUBLIC…

  14. curious says:

    them police muss want money from the tourist them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    that all police want bribe and wen

    when you no give them they arrest and brutalize you!!!!!

  15. The Man says:

    I have no problem with this. No demand, no supply. That’s how you fight the drug war. Snuff out the demand. Nobody buys, nobody can sell, end of story.

  16. me says:

    WE WILL NEVER VISIT THAT POOR @$$ COUNTRY AGAIN. I AM HER FRIEND…AND THATS THAT! SHE WAS TRYNA HELP THE PPL OUT. SHE DONT DO DRUGS…BUT THTS HOW WE GET TREATED WE SPENT A FEWS HUNDREDS US THERE…

  17. Concern Citizen says:

    whatever me trying!!!!!!!!! Belize is ot loosing anything by not having your A$$ back there. Where in the world can some one buy drugs and say the only reason why I was buying drugs is to help your country…. Give me a break. Your probably on drugs just like your friend. CRACK HEAD>>>eep your dirty Us thats why the us is the problems it is in becuase or ReT$%^$ like your self and your DOPE FRIEND GO>>>>>> straight to jail do not pass go PAY $200.00

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