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Mar 26, 2021

Racial Profiling Case Set For May

It’s something we often see discussed in international news. Now, two Belize City men have filed civil suits against the Belize Police Department for racial profiling. Case management conferences held this week set court dates for May. In December of 2020, Greg Nunez, through his attorney, Leslie Mendez, filed papers, while Bryton Codd filed his suit in January of this year under the Fundamental Rights and Freedoms legislation.  The men claim that the Belize Police Department breached their Constitutional rights when, on separate occasions, officers conducted stop-and-search operations that resulted in no charges against the men but their identification documents were photographed.  The men’s attorney noted today that news reports have indicated that the Department has since discontinued the practice but that her clients’ say that “any feelings of relief or joy which the news may have prompted is markedly tempered by the impact the practice has had on them, and others who have been subjected to it.” The internal memo from police has last year’s date, but was circulated this week.  Stop-and-search operations were first brought about around 2018 as a strategy for the Police Department to tackle crime and arrest criminals before they reach their planned destination to carry out their plans. The practice was met with sharp criticism from the public, however, for targeting people of a specific ethnic background or appearance.

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