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Dec 4, 2002

Woman accuses cops of brutality

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It is not an unusual story, but it’s still one that needs to be told. Jacqueline Woods reports on an alleged case of brutality on the part of Belize City police.

Kimberly Bradley, Homeowner

“She was inside the bedroom when the police started to beat the two boys. And I think that is really wrong because she is a minor, she is a two year old, she shouldn’t even belong in there with them.”

Jacqueline Woods, Reporting

Kimberly Bradley is upset over an alleged incident that unfolded at her house at number 169 West Canal Street around five on Tuesday evening. Bradley claims a group of armed police men vandalized her property and put her daughter’s life at risk after the authorities entered the building looking for two young men who ran inside one of the rooms to hide.

Kimberly Bradley

“When they run inside the house, nobody ask nothing. They just start to bang open the backdoor, stamp open the door to try and get in, kick down the back door, came up the step, broke the room door lock. When they broke the room door lock that still never succeed for them, they bust open the part-off wall to get into the room, whereby they beat the two guys when my two year old daughter was inside the room with them.”

According to neighbours, the young men were with a group of friends playing cards in the backyard when the police showed up and started to harass. It is at that point Leon Jones and Kenneth Dobson ran inside the building with the cops close behind.

However, as it turned out the police were chasing after the wrong guys. Police Press Officer, G. Michael Reid says investigation into the incident reveals that it was a case of mistaken identity.

G. Michael Reid, Police Press Officer

“From what I understand, the police were out there looking for a pair of wanted fugitives, in particular one person wanted for murder. They saw some guys in the year and upon approaching the guys ran and the police pursued these guys. The guys ran into the house, two of the guys. Not knowing if any of these two guys were the wanted murderer, they then pursued the guys into the house and apprehended the suspects.”

“We understand that the guys needed to stomp in the door because they knocked on the door and nobody answered. They knew for a fact that the fugitives were inside the house, alleged fugitives, and they then therefore went into the house after them… They have been released from custody. They weren’t the people in fact wanted for the murder, so the fact is that the police were doing their job.”

But Bradley says all she is concerned about is the damage done to her house and whether the police will fix it.

Kimberly Bradley

“Because our house was just recently built, and they came and took it over for themselves… I would a just really want the police to look into things, they shouldn’t even do things like this, come the correct way.”

G. Michael Reid

“In a case like this what I would recommend is for this lady to send a letter to the Commissioner of Police and contact the Police Department to see if about the possibility of being reimbursed for the property damage.”

Bradley has since lodged a complaint with the police. Jacqueline Woods for News 5.

Reid says he believes the incident will not affect ongoing efforts by police to work closely with the community to reduce crime.

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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