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May 26, 2020

Delivery Man Charged under S.O.E.; Says He was Working

Mason Berry, the owner of a delivery service in the west, feels that he may have been singled out and unfairly charged under the state of emergency regulations. Berry says he had gone to Benque Viejo to do a run and on his return trip, around four-thirty that evening; he was stopped at a check-point in Succotz Village where he was searched and questioned.  It was all caught on camera and the images made its round on the internet. The officer was not satisfied with Berry’s reason for being out in public and proceeded to charge him. Today, Berry appeared in court and will return on July ninth. If he is found guilty of the charge, he says, he will have to pay two thousand dollars. This afternoon, we spoke with Berry via phone and also asked the Commissioner of Police for a response. Here’s how that went.


Mason Berry

On the Phone: Mason Berry, Owner, Right Away Delivery

“I went to the young man’s house to get the mask and while he was sorting them out, it seems like he didn’t put it back in my school bag at that time and when I was leaving Benque Viejo it started to rain a little and I had other deliveries that I had to come and do in San Ignacio Town as well. So, approaching the check point in San Jose Succotz, I was approached by the officer Mr. Chin who asked me what my reason for movement was. So, I explained to him that I was doing deliveries and heading back to San Ignacio. So, pertaining to that, I searched the bag and didn’t find the masks so I called the young man right in front of him and he asked me if I can turn back real quick because he was the one who took the masks out of my bag. I had the phone on speaker so Mr. Chin was hearing everything in our conversation so then he asked me to pull on the side of the road and asked me to get off my cycle because he was going to search for drugs.   Then he asked to do a search on me and I gave him the permission and told him to go ahead which he did. After all this now, he told me that I was going to be detained for moving without a purpose but I told him that under the S.O.E. a delivery service man is an essential worker in that we provide service for anyone because this is my livelihood.  In this situation, I really and truly can’t apply to it because as essential worker you have tortilla guy moving around and other businesses moving around who do this same kind of service. The whole ordeal I think is just plain harassment because I don’t believe in racism but I mean I am dark skinned male person trying to make my own business. We are going through a crisis at the moment and I can’t depend on the government for that one hundred dollars every two weeks to provide for my family. I have to get out there and do something. So, with this ordeal he sees me every day so I don’t know what to make of it.”


Chester Williams

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police

“Dah nuh every lee thing the public mek noise about we must comment enuh. I don’t think I need to offer a comment for that. The police officer in question, in his wisdom, from questioning Mr. Berry, believes that he couldn’t provide a sufficient, a reasonable explanation for him being out. And he charged him. It’s a matter for the court to decide. I am not going to comment much about that. No.”

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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