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Jan 4, 2019

San Pedro Mayor: Police Brutality Will Not Be Tolerated

Late this evening, the Bar Association of Belize issued a release on the beaten on a San Pedro citizen by the police. In the release, the Bar describes the incident as heinous, unjustified and possibly life-threatening on an individual that was not resisting arrest. The Bar joins other advocacy groups and public denounces this and other instances of police brutality and abuses of power by agents of the state. The release also states that the Bar expects that the department will conduct a thorough and impartial investigation so that actions may be taken against any perpetrators of unlawful actions. Many cases of brutality at the hands of lawmen are documented at the Professional Standards Branch of the Police Department and at the Office of the Ombudsman. But not too often has the excessive force been captured on video to strengthen the case against the officers. With previous cases ending with merely a slap on the wrist for many cops, there are questions whether at the end of a seven-day suspension and the simultaneous criminal and internal investigations, PCs Samir Medina and Tyrell Rowley will be re-instated without consequences. San Pedro Mayor Daniel Guerrero also condemns the violent behaviour of cops, saying it does not augur well for tourism.

 

Daniel Guerrero

Daniel Guerrero, Mayor, San Pedro

“Shocked just by seeing the video on social media and the way the police brutality happened is not tolerated. There is zero tolerance for that. We all need to learn the full story of the event also, but it is something that should not happen. I believe that the department has to look into those matters and try to figure a way out that it does not continue. It’s something that is unpredictable; you don’t know when it will happen again, hoping that it doesn’t happen again. But I mean, it was yes New Year’s—it can happen on any day. It doesn’t have to happen on a New Year or Christmas, but it is something that we have to work together and I’ll be honest we work very close with the police department. I saw the video, it is totally unacceptable. I wasn’t there; I am just saying this based on what I saw on the video and it is totally out of hand. That shouldn’t have happened because the guy was actually on the ground, handcuffed. He was kicked by the QRT and then the owner came in and stomped him. I think it is totally out of hands.”


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