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Jul 17, 2019

Allyson Major Jr. Dies at the Hands of Pursuing Cops

Allyson Major Jr.

Four persons were killed in the mayhem of a very violent Tuesday evening. In a span of five hours, two were killed and died on the spot, while two others succumbed hours after they were injured and there is nothing to indicate any connection in the violent spree. The violence started in the crowded downtown area of Belize City when persons were heading home after a day at work.  Allyson Major Junior was shot during a police chase at the foot of the Swing Bridge in an officer-involved shooting.  Today, the C.E.O. of the Ministry of National Security met with the family and their attorney to bring clarity to what transpired and to give assurances that an investigation will he held and persons brought to justice if there is any wrongdoing.  Here is News Five’s Isani Cayetano.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Thirty-six-year-old Allyson Major Junior lost his life, following an officer-involved shooting in downtown Belize City on Tuesday afternoon.  The incident unfolded on South Street when Major was pursued by police on mobile patrol in that area.  The vehicular pursuit came to a violent end at the foot of the Swing Bridge after multiple shots had been fired in his direction, as he led the chase down Regent Street.  The pickup truck which Major was driving had collided into a passenger bus and came to rest near the Commercial Center.  Inside the cab, the well-known teacher and tour guide was bleeding profusely from a gunshot wound to the head.  Once again, the deadly event is raising serious concerns about the rules of engagement for police officers.  This evening, C.E.O. George Lovell, of the Ministry of National Security, sat down with Major’s family.

 

George Lovell

Ret. Col. George Lovell, C.E.O., Ministry of National Security

“We felt at the ministry that it’s important that we reach out to the family and that let the family understand that we will do all in our powers to investigate the matter and if our officers who have been named in this very unfortunate incident are found to be culpable then the full extent of the law will apply.”

 

According to police, Major was observed inside this burgundy GMC Sierra on George Street where a pursuit quickly got underway.  The chase led them to South Street and onto Southern Foreshore where Major reportedly began tossing several items out of the pickup.  Thereafter he proceeded into Regent Street where he was being tailed by another police vehicle.

 

Edward Broaster

Edward Broaster, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Operations)

“They believe that he had suspected illegal drugs.  As a matter of fact, I believe one parcel was thrown out of the vehicle and was retrieved by a police team.”

 

Notwithstanding the assertion that Major was seen disposing of the alleged contraband, did he pose an immediate threat to the pursuing officers that would have warranted such wanton and deadly gunfire?

 

Kareem Musa

Kareem Musa, Friend/Attorney of Deceased

“The only scenario that would prompt an officer to respond in that manner is if Allyson or an occupant in his vehicle were firing shots back at the police and that would result in a shootout.  Absolutely nothing of the sort took place.  Imagine just for one second driving down South Street, two police vehicles pull up behind you and start shooting at you.  Just imagine that for a second.  Are you going to stop your vehicle, get out and get murdered or will you continue driving?  Allyson continued to drive up Regent Street, the family suspects that he was trying to take refuge and go to the Queen Street Police Station.  He had nothing incriminating on him.  All this nonsense about him throwing things out of the vehicle, everybody knows that if you throw something out of a vehicle somebody mi wahn pick it up.”

 

The incident has quickly prompted in an internal investigation headed by the Professional Standards Branch of the police department.  Its outcome will determine culpability, as well as liability if the officers are found to be responsible for causing the death of Allyson Major.

 

George Lovell

“As you know, in these things, and I don’t want to get ahead of myself, when we investigate and we find out exactly what the circumstances are then we will have to deal with it.  If it means that our people have acted in a manner, and I say if our people have acted in a manner where they should not have acted in that manner and caused the loss of Mr. Major’s life and the state is then at a point where they are held responsible then the state will have to do right to the family.”

 

But that is little solace, if any, to a family that has lost their loved one in such a cruel manner.

 

Kareem Musa

“I’ve already advised the family based on the precedence that has been set with the young man that was murdered in the Caye Caulker Police Station, Mr. Sotz, that the likelihood is that the police department will charge with manslaughter.  The D.P.P. may choose to charge with manslaughter.  I think if you look at intention, which is what murder comes down to, if you shoot a vehicle to the back window where your head is supposed to be because that’s the driver’s side, that is intentional.”

 

Deputy Commissioner of Police Edward Broaster says that protocols do not include officers firing at fleeing vehicles or suspects.

 

Edward Broaster

“We have our pursuit policy and our pursuit policy is very clear.  We don’t fire at fleeing vehicles, so we will be looking at all that and like I said, we will do a thorough and fair investigation to assure the public confidence that we will deal with whoever needs to be dealt with and lay charges wherever the charges need to be laid after the investigation is completed by the Professional Standards Branch and Criminal Investigations Branch.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.


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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