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May 28, 2014

4 cops under investigation; one is likely to face criminal charges for shooting of a Unitedville youth

Four police officers are tonight under investigation and it is likely that one will be charged criminally for the shooting of a Unitedville youth. Nineteen year old Elston Arnold was shot in the back as he rode his bicycle through the village with his cousins. As they approached the bus stop near the access road to their houses off the George Price Highway, they were stopped and searched by a police mobile on patrol. This is when it got ugly for the youths. Arnold was shot in the back and another was badly beaten by the officers. News Five’s Duane Moody was in Unitedville today and spoke to the shooting victim.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

Four police officers attached to the San Ignacio Police Precinct are under investigation following the shooting of a Unitedville youth in the wee hours of Monday. Sometime after twelve, nineteen year old Elston Arnold was along with his cousins heading home from a wake in the adjacent village of Ontario. After one of the cousins was allegedly assaulted by the Police Corporal in charge of the patrol, a single blast from a service pump twelve shotgun echoed. Arnold was hit to the lower left side of the back.

 

Elston Arnold

Elston Arnold, Shooting Victim

“They haul up and they just start search us. After that, my cousin tell the corporal if he noh know fi he own village bwai dehn? Why ih wah do this to we? After that the corporal run after my cousin and then three of the other police weh mi deh with he get ina di vehicle and chase ahn down. We ride behind them to see weh di happen and when we reach there, we see two of the police officers have my cousin on the ground at the edge of the road in front of the police mobile di kick up ahn and punch ahn up on the ground. After that, when me and my three other cousin reach behind the police mobile, one of them come out with a nine millimeter gun, clock it and put it dah my cousin head and then after that, the one weh mi deh behind the passenger side come out, he just kick open the door, arm fi he twelve gauge shotgun and open fire and it hit me ina my lower left back.”

 

Sceamarita Gongora

The police mobile and the officers then drove off. Despite being shot, Arnold and his cousins made their way to the JP in the village for assistance. Arnold and his cousin, Calbert, were subsequently rushed to the hospital in San Ignacio.

 

Sceamarita Gongora, Justice of the Peace, Unitedville

“Dehn holla police just meet mi and beat up wi and dehn shot Elly; Elly get shot. So I tell dehn what? Unu sure dah police? And same time when dehn di talk to me, I see the vehicle turn like it come back to come and see if dehn get shot and when dehn done ih gone. So I tell them, unu wait for me and I hurry gone, lock up back my house, jump ina my vehicle fi try reach hospital with them. We call the police—and we have it on the phone, I have the proof—I call them and tell them I need assistance because I di ker two young boys dah hospital because one just get shot and one badly beaten by police.”

 

Marcia Burgess

Today, family members and friends gathered at Arnold’s Unitedville house. They were up in arms about what had transpired. It was an excessive use of force on her brother, says Arnold’s sister, Marcia Burgess, and that they want justice.

 

Marcia Burgess, Sister of Shooting Victim

“Ih mi wah be wah hurtful feeling for me if I lose my lee bredda. Ih noh mi wah be nice. I di tell yo. Parents, mothers out there, unu feel di pain fi unu pikney when time dehn police dehn abuse unu pikney. I believe dehn noh di do nothing wrong out there. I believe dehn noh di do nothing wrong. Me personally and my family di seek justice. I want justice because mein my bredda coulda mi loose ih life on that ground because dehn not even pick ahn up and ker ahn dah hospital.”

 

Reymundo Reyes

Police today confirmed that the incident is under investigation. Personnel from the department including the Professional Standards Branch have been conducting interviews and an interim report will be sent to the D.P.P. for a directive.

 

Insp. Reymundo Reyes, Deputy O.C., San Ignacio Police Formation

“The four police officers suspected to be in that area when the incident happened are being questioned by the officers of the Crime Investigation Branch officer and the assistance of people from the Standard Bureau. Police officers are giving a version of their story and the victim as well as his companions is giving us a version of their own story.  The way the investigation is going and with the statements that we have obtained, we have ascertained that yes, the level of force used by the police was not necessary. The person did sustain the injury from a shotgun which we believe to be one of the weapons issued to that team. That is being looked at; that is the reason why we have the weapon that will be sent along with the pellets retrieved from the young man to the national forensic service for analysis.”

 

From what we were able to gather, at least one of the officers will be charged criminally, while the corporal will see disciplinary action taken against him. The other two might also face internal charges. Duane Moody for News Five.

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6 Responses for “4 cops under investigation; one is likely to face criminal charges for shooting of a Unitedville youth”

  1. the voice says:

    You the police only play the fool. You know very good what they did. Why dont you guys do that to gang members? Because that will be a different story. So sad for the family. I hope they get kicked out of the police. And arrested all of them. A lot of guys are waiting for them in jail.

  2. Concern says:

    Seems we have some dangerous rogue cops roaming our streets. Have the police now become gang that have unlimited powers? The people need to know!

  3. Bzn says:

    Police officers never ever serve time…… look at all files n you will see they all get bail n they all walk free from charges…. If they get charged its a silly fine they get…. Look at the police officer hill who send kill the chiney man in orange walk… he is back in the police force. Look at all the officers who got caught with the plane down south… they all got bail n after “WON” their case… Our system is for the Rich n Crooked.. This needs to stop Belize… Quit sitting back n watching these politicians manipulate your votes for a smeezzy $100. Rally Bz Rally… JUNE 8TH BZ CITY BATTLE FIELD.4PM…. WE WILL LET THE SYSTEM BOTH PUDP KNOW WE HAVE HAD ENOUGH…….

  4. Rod says:

    That’s this corrupt gov they use the police to kill people wake up belizeans

  5. H@tari says:

    This is totally unacceptable. Our police department is failing us miserably and I put the blame directly on GOB. Just like the Crooks Report suggested, we need to bring in professional assistance from the outside to bring the department up to standard. It is working with the K9 Unit and will work with all of the units. There is currently no one in the police department that is capable of doing the job. No one!

  6. Man says:

    When the people start taking matters into their own hands and police get hurt, well they can’t say they didn’t had it coming.

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