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Feb 17, 2022

An Investigation is Underway into Joshua Smith’s Shooting

Joshua Smith

Twenty-six-year-old Joshua Smith remains hospitalized at the K.H.M.H. after being severely injured when he was fired upon with rubber pellets by police officers who responded to a distress call at his residence on Saturday night.  His mother, Laura Smith, arrived at their home on East Collet Canal only to find him in an enraged state, holding a knife and a hammer. She immediately called police for assistance but the situation quickly escalated, resulting in him being shot multiple times by the responding officers. Commissioner of Police Chester Williams has weighed in on the incident and has assigned the Professional Standards Branch to conduct an investigation. News Five spoke with Smith’s mother and the ComPol today.


Isani Cayetano

“Do you know if he may have been under the influence of any kind of drug or alcohol at the time?”


Laura Smith

Laura Smith, Mother of Abuse Victim

“That’s what I am still trying to figure out because as far as I know he hasn’t done drugs and so he claims.  But I am not with him 24/7 so I can’t say whether he does or does not do certain things.  I am not always there.  So that’s why I asked for a test so I can see if he was under the influence of any drugs or anything or what went wrong because at this point I don’t know what went wrong.  He doesn’t have any mental history and I never saw him use drugs before, so I don’t know, I am still trying to figure out what went wrong.”


Chester Williams

On the phone: Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police

“Police did report that they responded to information from family members and upon responding, they observed him to be armed with a knife and a hammer.  He was instructed by the officers to put down the weapons as they feared approaching him and he refused to do so.  According to the officers, he did not seem to be in a normal state at that particular moment and rubber bullets had to be used to subdue him.  Now the amount of rubber bullets used, I am certain it’s not two hundred as stipulated by the mother in her report.  But the Professional Standards Branch has been tasked to look at the issue for us to be able to ascertain whether or not the force used was justified or excessive.  So it is an issue that we are certainly looking at and this is the reason why I always say that I am reluctant to have our officers respond to situations where it involves people with some mental conditions because the outcome, most of the time the family members are not happy with, even though they would be the ones to call the police and police will go in support of them.”


The Human Rights Commission of Belize has issued a statement expressing concerns over what transpired on Saturday night and is questioning the police department’s use of excessive force in subduing Joshua Smith.

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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