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Sep 24, 2013

Belmopan student alleges police brutality

Kadeesh Bernard

Complaints of the excessive use of force by officers of the Belize Police Department are regularly aired in our newscasts. Tonight, there is another allegation to add to the growing list. Kadeesh Bernard and his mother came to our studios complaining that sometime around ten p.m. on Saturday, Bernard and a group of friends were hanging out in Belmopan, celebrating Independence Day, when he was roughed up by an officer and placed under arrest. Without resisting, Bernard says he was subsequently taken to the Belmopan Police Station. But it didn’t end there, Bernard says that when his mother arrived at the station to inquire why he was being held, she was assaulted by the police and so he reacted. That was when at least three officers pounced on him and he was rendered unconscious. When he regained consciousness, he was bleeding from the mouth; had two broken teeth and a swollen face and lip. According to the seventeen year old student of Baptist High School, he is not a troublemaker; nor is he involved with gangs. Bernard says he will be lodging a complaint with the Professional Standards Branch of the Police Department.

 

Kadeesh Bernard, Alleges Police Brutality

“When the mobile came, I jump ina di mobile and same time my ma di come. And my ma ask the police why dehn got me ina di mobile for. And so one of the police man tell the driver, let’s go, let’s go, let’s go. And dehn ker me dah station. Dehn put me ina di cell and about fifteen minutes after, my ma come and still ask the police man weh dehn got me for? What I do? What I do wrong. And dehn noh even answer my ma and my ma di continue ask them the same thing sir and dehn noh di answer my ma. That time there, dehn done put me ina di cell and I see that one of the police dehn gone to my ma and choke my ma, so then I start to act a way because I noh like see weh dehn do my ma. And so the police man stone my ma ina wah chair and come after me—wah dark-skinned, tall police man with two other police in the cell. When that happen, the police man grab me and choke me…so I di try fi fight with he. When that di happen, two next policeman come and grab my hand. And when dehn grab my hand, I done feel like I di go and sleep sir. So when I di go and sleep, all weh I remember is when I get up and I try to help myself off the ground and I see wah lotta blood on the ground. One of the next inmate weh deh ina di cell with me, tell me that when dehn done put me to sleep, dehn slam my head against the wall; and drag me towards one of the cells and stone my face on the ground. OUT 02:28

IN 03:50 I got three or four stitches ina my mouth and four of my teeth broke—two broke and two crack—see.  I think all of this happen from a year ago sir because wah lee fighting incident mi happen in front of a school and all the students mi see weh gone on. When the mobile mi come, everybody scatter, but the police man dehn mi start to chase we. So when dehn chase we, I slip the police man and I make ih drop and then all of the students laugh at the police man. So that’s why I think when the police man see me twenty-first night, he just call me in, but I neva really add up anything yet until I deh ina di cell.”

 

On Monday, Kadeesh was charged for Disorderly Conduct, while his mother, Bernice Muschamp Bernard, was charged with Insulting Words. They both appeared in the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court where they both pleaded not guilty to the charges. 

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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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1 Response for “Belmopan student alleges police brutality”

  1. history minded says:

    In order to lessen these sorta crimes there needs to be a sustained pressure to ensure the cases are dealt with immediately and effectively. This is where a group/ngo can really make some changes. Rally all victims of similar situations – and let them protests until cases are being dealt with. It doesn’t’ guarantee that it will stop – but hopefully lessens.

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