Godfrey Hemsley Murdered; third City murder in a week prompts police to look at curfew

Posted: Thursday, March 17, 2016. 7:42 p.m. CST

belize-policeBy Aaron Humes: Before this week, Eastern Division police had reported just two murders in the first two months of 2016, as the rest of the country saw a spike; this was on the heels of an improvement in the latter half of 2015.

But as of today, there have been three murders this week. The latest took place on the basketball court located on Cemetery Lane adjacent to Yarborough Football field near Wesley College and a stones’ throw away from the home of the victim, 31 year old Godfrey Hemsley, the father of a 9 year old daughter.

Two teenagers described by Assistant Commissioner of Police Chester Williams as “gun toddlers” are said to have snuck up on Hemsley and fired the fatal shots.

ACP Williams described the motive behind the murder as gang-related, between two different gangs who have not been part of the police’s intervention efforts, though Hemsley’s family say he was a hard worker who loved his family and to play basketball on the court where his life was taken. Williams also noted that contrary to the Families and Children Act, he believes exception needs to be made for youths known to be involved in violence to be publicly identified.

And to deal with the so-called “gun toddlers” being coerced into carrying out these vicious acts, Police will implement a means of checking up on unaccompanied minors at night time.

ACP Williams says the Ministry of Human Development will be brought on board shortly concerning plans for the curfew. He also noted that the Community Rehabilitation Department has gotten funds from Government to pay for sending some of these youths back to school free of colleague.

As for the announcement itself, Williams says it is past time parents shoulder their responsibilities for taking care of their children, and if they do not want to then Police will do it their way.

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