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Jul 19, 2021

Attorney on Manslaughter Charge in Laddie Gillett Shooting

Darrell Bradley

As protests continue in person and on social media following the shooting death Laddie Gillett, News Five sought legal opinion on the manslaughter charge against the alleged shooter, police corporal Kareem Martinez.  Here is what Attorney Darrell Bradley told us.


Darrell Bradley, Attorney-at-law

“Justice does not mean that we are rash in going to judgment. We have to let the investigative process unfold and we have to see where that investigation lies and what will be the result of that. I have said earlier that Belize is a country of laws so that something very tragic has occurred. Police has taken steps. The officer, I believe, has been put on interdiction and he has been criminally charged. The charge is manslaughter. I know that many persons may not be satisfied with that particular charge. But, I suspect that charge may have been arrived at based on all the circumstances. One of the things that the public has to appreciate is that police officers are authorized to use force. And, they are authorized to use lethal force in certain circumstances. Of course, it has to be reasonable, it cannot be excessive and it has to comport with principles of the rule of law. All exercise of public authority, including those of the police has to be scrutinized. But, a police officer is discharging their functions according to law, and is carrying out something that is lawfully provided for. Clearly, in the circumstances when somebody is losing their lives, again, I am not very intimate in terms of the circumstances of the particular case, but if you are shooting somebody in their back that tells a story as to the position of the individuals. I don’t want to second guess the police or the office of Director of Public Prosecution in relation to why the charge was manslaughter. But, I do suspect it had to do with the circumstances of the particular case. This would have happened in the night time or early morning hours in the cloud of darkness. Police officer would have had to make a split second judgment; unfortunately I believe that judgment was wrong. But, in the circumstances of it, it is not a situation where you have a cold blooded murder.”

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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