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Nov 2, 2020

Chester Williams on Church Gatherings: “The Law is What the Law is”

Chester Williams

Commissioner of Police Chester Williams has also weighed in on the incident.  He says that the officers were simply doing what they were instructed to do which is to uphold the law.  According to the commissioner, when they officers arrived in the community they observed over two hundred persons gathered at the church.  While the religious leaders were subsequently released without incident, ComPol Williams says that will all be served with summonses to appear in court for the various Quarantine Act violations.


Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police

“Based on the information we had gathered that at this church service there were over two hundred persons, close to three hundred and they were not wearing any masks.  Based on that, the team that we have working in Blue Creek had responded to verify the information and when they got there they indeed saw a church service with a huge number of persons, indeed close to three hundred.  These people were not wearing any masks.  As you would know, the Quarantine Regulation clearly stipulates that church services are not to have that amount of people and even in settings of church people are expected to wear masks.  Based on that, the police officers informed the organizers or the leaders of the church of the offense committed and they were placed under arrest.  I must say that for the most part, us Belizeans we are Christians and we are God-fearing people and we try as best as we can not to stand in the way of God or not to interrupt those who are serving the good Lord.  But at the same time, we have to understand the times that we are in and we also have to abide by the law, regardless of who we are.  And so, when I see that people are trying to vilify the police for having done their job, I will have to denounce such conduct.  The police are not the authors of the law, we are simply the enforcers and while yes, the churches may not agree with the law and may want to draw parallel with the churches and buses and restaurants, the law is what the law is.”

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