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Oct 16, 2014

Quality of Life Offences Catch Up with Ex-BDF Soldier

Leonard Palacio Lewis

Thirty year old ex-B.D.F. soldier and father of four, Leonard Joel Palacio, spent four nights in lockdown for riding a bicycle contrary to traffic. Palacio, who is an epileptic, is complaining that he was denied access to his medication and any other request he made while in custody.  After spending four days at the Queen Street Police station, Palacio said he was finally granted police bail in the sum of one hundred dollars after Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood intervened. Palacio claims that while on detention, he endured a lot of inhumane treatment, firstly at the hands of the police, then by detainees who beat him up. Today, he appeared at the court to answer to two bicycle offenses for riding contrary to traffic and without a light on his bicycle. He told us that on Friday night, October tenth, he was riding his bicycle to work at Fort Point Security office, when he was stopped by the police on Cemetery Road. He said he was taken to the Queen Street Police Station and kept until Monday. There, he claims, his ordeal began.


Leonard Palacio Lewis, Claims he was held unlawfully

“I was detained from Corporal 322 Jucio Itzab for not having a light and riding up stop. He put me in a cell because he said I needed to get someone to bail me out. He didn’t offer me no call for someone to be able to come bail me out. So I stayed there for Friday, Friday night; slept there during the day…violated by prisoners as well. Slept there Sunday, Sunday night and on Monday morning, I was interviewed by Inspector Yearwood who granted me self-bail and he was the one who explained to me that I was there for petty offenses. I asked him the same thing.  I got sick twice int hat cell while sleeping in water because it rained the weekend. I slept in water, dried and got wet right back. I didn’t eat, I didn’t drink anything.”



“What did this do to your body being an epileptic person?”


Leonard Palacio Lewis

“That dried me out. When you get seizure ma’am, your body fights with your immune system and it gets you weaker than you normally are.”



“Did you feel like you were going to die in that cell?”


Leonard Palacio Lewis

“Yes ma’am.”



“Did you express this to anybody?”


Leonard Palacio Lewis

“I expressed it to the officer that was in charge for cell block. They were beating me up and I was asking if he can please move me out because prevention is cure. I didn’t want to fight with no one. This is the first time in my life being in cell block. I asked to please be removed until someone comes for me the Tuesday because Monday was holiday.”



“What kind of actions are you going to take firstly for being detained so long and then your condition and what happened that you endured plus you claim that you were also taken advantage of. So what kind of action will you be taking and how soon will you be doing so?”


Leonard Palacio Lewis

“The action I will first like to pursue is getting my days of missing of work paid back because this wouldn’t have happened if Mister Itzab had listened to me pertaining to me getting detained and looked up for a light for a bicycle which should be a summons as far as I am concerned. And if they could please talk to these police officers pertaining to how they do their work with the public and if they could do this in a more professional manner instead of cursing and hitting the people that will be out here and be law-abiding citizens.”


Palacio says that he is considering taking action against the police for inhumane treatment. 

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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4 Responses for “Quality of Life Offences Catch Up with Ex-BDF Soldier”

  1. Ricky Malthus says:

    What a masterstroke ! How ingenious! We should honour that police officer, give him a prize. He is a stalwart in enforcing stupid laws on stupid Belizeans. There is no logic to this insane law.

  2. Baba says:

    You do not put someone in jail for a minor traffic offence. That is ridiculous. Reason for this is because the officer did not like him or was trying to extort cash. The police should have ticket books and issue a ticket to offenders for summary conviction or non criminal offences.

    One of the most basic and necessary investigative tools a police officer can carry is a notebook but Belize Police officers are not issued any nor do most carry one.
    I have seen Belize Police officers writing peoples information on their hands!!! Then they wonder why all their cases fall apart in court.

  3. Caye says:

    This is a crying shame.

  4. Timber says:

    How will he write a ticket Baba even if he had a notebook when majority of these jack:;() are illiterate and can’t even spell their own names? Have you seen a police report lately, or even listened to one? All of them, including the inspectors, use the same language and terms. It makes me sick. Not one of them can express themselves. I’ve been SCREAMING FOR MONTHS to have these officers go to some sort of school. SJC Extension would have been perfect but that’s now defunct. I brought up this idea four years ago on a visit to Belize and was even willing to donate seven laptops and printers to start off with. That idea wasn’t even entertained because there was no hustle in it. Offer is still on the table but now it’s not for free, especially when I see how members of this party willfully rob the coffers of government. The city is broke so they are now oppressing poor people; the same ones who voted them in. The only people profiting from this are the Asian vendors because I’ve noticed the prices of bicycle bells and lights have tripled since then.

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