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Nov 17, 2021

Officer Involved in Laddie Gillett Shooting Challenges Dismissal

Kareem Martinez

Corporal Kareem Martinez was dismissed from the Belize Police Department a few weeks ago in connection with the shooting death of fourteen-year-old Laddie Gillett.  But Martinez is taking the Police Commissioner and the Department to court over his dismissal. Today, Minister of Home Affairs Kareem Musa spoke on the topic and News Five’s Marion Ali filed the following report.


Kareem Musa, Minister of Home Affairs

“We need public confidence to be restored. That’s something that I have been adamant about ever since we took over office. We need the public on our side. And so, in the interest of the public, the Commissioner dismissed Corporal Martinez.”


Laddie Gillett

Marion Ali, Reporting

The dismissal of Corporal Kareem Martinez from the Belize Police Department followed a flurry of public appeals for action to be taken against the officer for the July fourteenth fatal shooting of Laddie Gillett – a fourteen-year-old student of the Belize Christian Academy. The youth was gunned down on the Placencia beach as he and an older friend made their way back to the place where he was staying for the weekend. For weeks after in just about every municipality, there were candlelight vigils and public outcry calling for justice.


Patrick Herbert

Patrick Herbert, Protestor [File: July 26th, 2021]

“We need our leaders fi do the right thing fi realize that the system broken. You need fi be true to yoh mandate – no police brutality, no police brutality, no police brutality!”


Brian Guardado

Brian Guardado, Founder, We Walk As One Foundation [File: July 26th, 2021]

“We’re not just out here for Laddie. We’re out here across the board for those who have been murdered over the years. It’s time for our youths to speak out and if you could see behind me, most of the people out here are youths.”


The protestors’ appeal after Gillett’s shooting resulted in Martinez being charged internally and criminally. While his manslaughter trial is still pending, Musa explained that the Police Tribunal found him culpable.


Kareem Musa

Kareem Musa

“Corporal Martinez was charged and convicted at the tribunal but they did not send him home. The Commissioner, and I stand behind the Commissioner on this, has made a decision under the Police Act – I believe it’s Section twenty-five, four, made a decision that he should go home.”


Musa assured that, in congruence with what the public has been demanding, the Government will hold police officers accountable for their actions.


Kareem Musa

“We will continue to implement our Police Reform Protocol. Yes, we will get resistance, yes we will get opposition, and I’m not in any way trying to convict Corporal Martinez because he has to go through his due process.”


Reporting for News Five, I am Marion Ali.

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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