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Petition on death of Laddie Gillett seeks police reform

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Posted: Tuesday, July 27, 2021. 10:27 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: More than 6 thousand have signed a petition started at Change.org formalizing the call for justice in the death of Laddie Gillett, 14.

Gillett was shot dead nearly two weeks ago Wednesday after being mistaken by a police officer for a would-be mischief maker in Placencia, Stann Creek District.

Petition writer, Lyra Spang, called on the leaders of both major parties and relevant ministers to unite to ensure police reform and justice and action.

Petitioners are calling on the Government to specifically train police on peaceful conflict resolution and diversity training, including racial and gender-based profiling. Both the accused shooter and Gillett are of African descent.

Whether or not they are convicted, the officers involved in the incident should be permanently removed from the police force, petitioners said. If convicted they should be jailed. Their results of blood and urine tests should be released. A neutral outside body shall be created to audit and inspect police departments and sectors to ensure transparency, accountability and officer compliance with Belizean police professional code of conduct, and the aforementioned training, petitioners clamor for.

While not speaking in specifics, the Government has committed to some reform of the Department; the other demands largely rely on the outcome of the case against Martinez, controversially charged with manslaughter, in court.

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