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Sep 9, 2013

A cop is killed at the hands of another in the city

Dean Yearwood

The police department finds itself in a quagmire tonight. It is investigating one of its own who shot and killed another cop on Saturday morning. Of the eleven bullets fired, one found its mark on the back of Detective Constable Dean Yearwood. The shooting happened soon after Yearwood had gotten off work and was in front of a supermarket on Central American Boulevard. Yearwood was shooting at alleged robbers who wanted his police service weapon, when another officer opened fire on him. This morning, the top brass of the police called a press conference to discuss the shooting. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

The shooting death of twenty-four-year-old police constable Dean Yearwood Jr., at the hands of a fellow officer in the wee small hours of Sunday morning, has brought into sharp focus yet again an urgent need for adequate training in police rules of engagement.  Yearwood was mortally wounded after being hit once in the back during a salvo of nine millimeter rounds fired by Glen Wayne Grant.

 

Allen Whylie

Allen Whylie, Commissioner of Police

“At about one-o-five a.m. on Sunday, September eighth, 2013, CIB personnel visited corner Nargusta Street and Central American Boulevard, Belize City where they saw a male person with a single gunshot wound on the street side apparently dead.”

 

It is reported that Yearwood was walking along Central American Boulevard in the vicinity of Publics Supermarket when he was accosted by a pair of young men who attempted to rob him.  During the incident the recently transferred officer produced a service revolver and fired at his assailants, injuring twenty-one-year-old Brian Vasquez.  The commotion drew the attention of PC Grant, attached to Precinct One, who happened to be in the area at the time of the shooting.

 

Brian Vasquez

Allen Whylie

“At about one a.m. police constable Grant was riding his bicycle on Central American Boulevard, Belize City and upon approaching near to the Publics Supermarket he heard a gunshot and he saw two male persons, one who was dressed in a white tee shirt and a three-quarter pants standing almost at the corner of Nargusta Street and Central American Boulevard.  This person had a firearm and appeared to be engaged in a struggle with another male person.”

 

What transpired thereafter underscores the need to use force effectively in order to accomplish an objective, as well as the need to avoid unnecessary force.

 

Allen Whylie

Glen Wayne Grant

“He then approached and engaged, pulling his nine millimeter service pistol and fired several shots at the men. We have established certain facts.  I personally haven’t seen the video but the investigators have visited the supermarket there and they have seen certain things on the video.  We are working with the proprietors to get that video.”

 

The slain officer’s uncle, Kevin Yearwood, told us that he received word of the fatal shooting moments later but did not think that his nephew was indeed the victim.  He too finds it hard to believe that a total of eleven spent shells were retrieved from the scene of the shooting.

 

Kevin Yearwood

Kevin Yearwood, Uncle of Deceased

“Di policeman seh he hyah shots and he respond.  So when you respond you claim seh you sih wahn man di chase wahn nada man and di fyah shot.  You noh know, you respond now, you noh know weh di happen you di cohn di opposite direction but you respond.  You haul out your nine millimeter gun and you fyah shot .  Di information weh I get da seventeen rounds, di commissioner seh da eleven, alright.  If da eleven da still lot.  So if you deh out deh di fyah eleven rounds and only one ketch ahn eena ih back dat mean you noh have no training with da gun.”

 

To that end, Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie has indicated that the department will be revisiting its training curriculum.

 

Allen Whylie

“I have already directed our director of training and the commandant to look at our existing protocols governing the use of firearms, reviewing the training syllabus that we can try to strengthen our base.  We have got to learn from this incident and it’s obvious that one of the things we got to again is training, re-training in terms of firearms, justifiable force and harm and we also perhaps need to find some way to identify officers when they are off duty that in the event some kind of situation arises, one officer would know that the other person is an officer.”

 

An investigation into the deadly shooting has been ordered, however, the incident is not being treated as a homicide.  Its treatment as a criminal investigation has raised the ire of Yearwood’s family.

 

Kevin Yearwood

“So Jules Vasquez ask ahn if da noh wahn murder investigation.  He seh no da wahn criminal investigation.  Criminal investigation could mean anything right.  Wah man thief five cents, ten cents dat come unda wahn criminal investigation.  Ih cyan be wahn murda now eena di commissioner eye because da noh premeditated.  So how he come up, he da lawyer now, premeditated.”

 

Allen Whylie

“I have ordered, in addition to the criminal investigation that is ongoing, an internal investigation which is consistent with our policy in terms of whenever any police shooting occurs.  The investigation is ongoing and the forensic people are also involved, our firearms examiner is involved in the investigation.  In terms of the issue of PC Grant, I have ordered that he be placed on administrative leave whilst the investigation is ongoing and we have also sought counseling for him through the Ministry of Health.”

 

Brian Vasquez, who was charged in June 2011 for the attempted rape of an eight-year-old girl, has undergone surgery and remains in a critical but stable condition.  There’s no word, however, whether he will be charged with any offense since the complainant, Dean Yearwood Jr. is deceased.  Meanwhile, police constable Glen Wayne Grant is one of four officers whose charge for wounding thirty-six-year-old Elvin Torres in October 2010, following a shooting incident at the police checkpoint near mile three on the Western Highway, was later withdrawn. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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4 Responses for “A cop is killed at the hands of another in the city”

  1. Tom says:

    Revisiting its training curriculum, what BS. What can they do now? With the apparent policy that any use of violent force by the police is justified and a simultaneous policy that anyone who kills a police officer is to be prosecuted to the max. Questions, questions, questions for the inquiring mind.

  2. Bud2ha says:

    All I can say is damn, I did police training with grant I won’t lie he is slow. I grew up with dean, as a police officer if u see something happening u need to establish some facts before you pretend to be supper man. 11 Shots damn am guessing he is blind or just don’t know how to shot. He should be charged for murder. How could u justify shooting someone in the back over mere suspicion. RIP me lee bretha them chance you. Peace

  3. Eye in the Sky says:

    Only in Belize police are robbing and killing each other.

    Getting worse than Mexico.

    Belize has become another Sodom & Gomorrah.

  4. AbiT says:

    I grew up with Dean too. This is all just sad…I do think that the police that shot him was acting in negligence…either that or it was all planned to look like an accident..

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