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Nov 23, 2022

D.P.P.’s Office will have Final Say in Deadly Swing Bridge Shooting

Chester Williams

Was the police officer that fired the fatal shot that neutralized Francis Ramos Junior justified in using lethal force?  It’s a question that many are asking in the aftermath of this morning’s deadly shooting.  Commissioner of Police Chester Williams outlines the steps that will be taken by the Belize Police Department before turning over a report to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.


Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police

“As far as I can see, the police did what he could have done in the circumstances and I have since ordered a criminal and an internal investigation just to go through the formalities, to look at all the evidence and everything and when the criminal investigation is done, the file will be sent to the DPP’s office for a determination to ascertain if in fact the DPP will be satisfied that the police acted in self-defense.  That is not going to be something that I am going to determine.  We’ll investigate, put all the evidence and send the file to the DPP and they are going to be the ones to make that determination.  In terms of the internal investigation, once that is don, it is going to be sent to myself for review and then we’ll see if the officer breached any procedure, any of our policies and then we see how we go from there. I was not on the bridge to say what I would have done, but certainly, anybody in their right mind is not going to try and aggress and allegedly mad man with a knife, because as much as you may say that they could have neutralized without using any lethal force, what would have happened if one of the officers jumped from off the railing of the bridge to where the individual was?  It would take one simple move and he could stab and kill the police.  So police officers are humans, they have flesh, they bleed blood and it would take one simple move and we could have been the ones grieving the loss of one of our officers who would have been out there performing his duty to protect the public.”

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