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Commissioner says policeman’s hold on detainee ‘not a chokehold’

Posted: Tuesday, April 26, 2022. 10:43 am CST.

By Aaron Humes: The latest viral video alleging Police brutality comes from Seine Bight, Stann Creek District.

As reported by our colleagues at KREM News, “…the claim is that one brother was waiting outside of an Asian-owned establishment for his brother to purchase food. While waiting for the food they were deciding whether to go and come back for it and they say that’s when police arrived and engaged them, ending up in the chokehold of one of the brothers. It appears they were eventually left to go on their way.”

But Police Commissioner Chester Williams, who noted that chokeholds and similar holds are banned from usage by police, judges that the hold seen in the video was used to ensure the person did not get away, not to injure or hurt the individual: “If you can look at the person, the person was still, for the most part, resisting and was still moving his entire body which means that the manner in which he was being held by the police did not fully restrain him, so it is not per se a tight chokehold as one may want to say.”

And those seen getting into the officers’ faces ran the risk of an obstruction charge for not allowing police to do their jobs, he added: “I look at the behavior of the persons around, how they were behaving towards the police and trying to remove the person that the police seemingly was trying to detain. And again, these are the things that the public needs to be aware of, the police officers are out there to perform their duties and when you come so close to the police as I saw in that video, it is tantamount to obstruction.”

The Commissioner said the press should better judge incidents such as these and inquire into both sides, mentioning the recent matter with Michael Francis in Placencia in which a confrontation left an officer unconscious, though Francis said the hit was accidental and in response to the officer’s actions.


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