Posted: Monday, January 7, 2019. 6:51 pm CST.
By BBN Staff: Last week video footage of police officers viciously assaulting unarmed and detained civilians in San Pedro Town went viral on social media.
The officers in question, Tyrell Rowley and Samir Medina, were placed on a five-day suspension pending the outcome of an internal and criminal investigation.
Today Deputy Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams, provided an update on the investigations.
He revealed that when officers of the Professional Standards Branch visited the civilians who were abused, they indicated that they did not want to pursue any matter against the officers.
He revealed that the officers made a second attempt to get the civilians to make a report but they have since refused. As such, the Belize Police Department will not be able to bring any criminal charges against the accused officers.
However, he confirmed that the Belize Police Department will proceed with internal disciplinary actions against the officers.
He said that their actions, “Was such that it was prejudicial to the good order and discipline of police officers.”
According to him, justice will be served.
“We are a country of laws and while people may wish to see that we act swiftly in dismissing members of the department who they believe may have done wrong, our laws do provide a mechanism, a system of due process that officers and any public officer must go through before a dismissal,” he said.
He added, “We cannot act in such a way that whatever we do is contrary to the laws that govern our action, because then that will open us up to a lawsuit.”
Rowley and Medina have since been charged internally with “one count for their conduct in beating the individual” and “one count for allowing a civilian to beat one of the detained individuals.”
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