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Jan 4, 2021

Man Hangs Himself Inside Detention Cell at Police Station

An investigation is underway in Belize City where a resident, who was detained by police, was discovered dead inside a holding cell at the precinct. Gregorio Bowen was taken into custody for an incident in which he reportedly wounded another person, but after two o’clock this morning he was found nude and hanging inside the cell; the victim removed his trousers and used it to take his life.  Commissioner of Police Chester Williams says that although an investigation has been launched into the incident, records show that protocols set in place to monitor detainees were followed. He also says that the deceased was not known to have been suffering from any mental health condition.

 

Chester Williams

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police

“This morning sometime after two, they made checks on a prisoner, Gregorio Bowen who was detained pending charge of wounding and upon doing so he was found nude in the cellblock hanging from his pants. So apparently, he took off his pants that he was wearing and hang himself on the gate of the cellblock. He was removed, taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival. I have tasked Professional Standards Branch and the Officer Commanding Eastern Division to launch an investigation to see if there was any negligence on the part of the officers who were working at the particular moment. We do have our cellblock policies that speak to the fact that officers must make hourly checks on prisoners and in situations where the prisoner is under the influence or demonstrates the potential for harming him or herself, then the checks must be made every half hour. In this case, Mister Bowen was not drunk and he was not one who displayed signs of wanting to injure himself or others. And so the checks on him were made hourly. We have checked the diary at the station and it shows that the officers did make the hourly checks at the cellblock and it would appear that it was after the two a.m. check was made that he eventually did what he did.  Nonetheless, we are going to see what the investigation reveals at the end and we will brief you all more on it.”


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