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Jul 2, 2019

Police Officer Used Unsanctioned Chokehold to Subdue PC Gillett

More cell phone images have surfaced about Sunday’s unfortunate incident on a water taxi from Caye Caulker. The images show the chokehold used by the police to restrain and subdue another officer, Ralph Gillett, who was involved in an altercation with a group of women travelling in the water taxi. The boisterous passengers are heard to be calling the Gillett all sorts of homophobic insults. Now, choke holds can be fatal, and Gillett is seen to become unconscious as he was being held; the incident is now under investigation. News Five’s Hipolito Novelo reports.

 

Hipolito Novelo, reporting

A third cell phone video, showing PC Ralph Gillett jumping out of a window and attempting to return to the vessel after being removed, is making its rounds social media. The video shows, at a different angle, the instant police halted Gillett and placed him in a choke hold after he reportedly attempted to reignite the feud with the women on the San Pedro Belize Water taxi boat on Sunday. Tonight the sister of one of the women is speaking out. She says that PC Gillett initiated the altercation.

 

Voice of: Woman

“They were boarding the boat and the passengers were going on the boat. Everyone had sat already but this guy and four of his friends; when he walked in we were already sitting down. They reached on the boat last because the boat takes a certain amount of passengers. So we were already seated. He came in with four of his friends: two came first and two were left out because they were behind the line. So now we sat down. I sat down over there, then my two little sisters sat down on the other side with the young man and his two friends. My sister got up out of her seat to go and use the bathroom. My sister is holding the seat because the boat is crowded and she does not want anyone to take her seat so she went to the bathroom. The young man came when his two friends came on the boat and said sit right here. My sister said he can’t sit there because my little sister is sitting there and she just went to the bathroom. He is like the girl did you not hear, sit (bleed) there.”

 

According to the sister PC Gillett then became boisterous and insisted that the available seating space was for his friends. The sister says that PC Gillett was visibly drunk and was the first to attack.

 

Ralph Gillett

Voice of: Woman

“My sister said sarcastically okay you sit here then, you sit here. He just bursted out you are a [bleep], you big baggy [bleep], this and that, to tell you the truth he was drunk. People are saying it is because he was gay, we have gay friends, I have gay friends that live right upstairs here, we were raised with gay friends so I don’t have any problem to say I discriminate no gay because I am not like that and we are not like that. He just started to kick up in the crowd and it was then that he and my sister got into a problem. My mom went there to try and part them, he just stomped my mom two times in the face and caused my mom to have a bloodshed in her eye.”

 

Police responded to the incident and forcibly removed Gillett off the vessel. Gillett, however, attempted run into the boat but was caught and placed in a chokehold.

 

Voice of: Woman

“When the police see the reaction they came to the boat. The reason police arrested him is because they had already put he off on the boat. He tried to run in through the next time to try get in. The police grabbed him and tried to hold him and that is when he got choke hold and passed out. People on the boat were hollering word like (bleed) but that were their option to say what they wanted to say. From our point of view, we did no call he any gay words on that boat.”

 

And while it has become a situation of “she says, he says”- there is the issue of excessive police force especially the unsanctioned choke hold used to subdue PC Gillett. The chokehold has not been sanctioned by police and for good reasons. If not properly executed and by a highly trained professional, putting someone in a chokehold can have serious and fatal results as was in the well known 2014 case of Eric Garner in the U.S. The officer who killed Garner used a banned chokehold.

 

 Anchor

“After Garner’s death a Grand Jury declined to indict in this and initially there were not internal charges. In fact the officer is still getting paid. A New York Civilian Complaint Board is reviewing the case and they have testimony from internal NYDP investigators that revealed they actually determined that the officer was using a forbidden chokehold on Garner and they recommended disciplinary charges against him all the way back in 2015.”

 

Hipolito Novelo, News Five.


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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