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Kareem Musa: In Police Department, ‘nobody is a sacred cow’

Posted: Thursday, April 27, 2023. 12:15 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: In his first comments since the conviction of ex-Corporal of Police Kareem Martinez in the shooting death of Laddie Gillett last Friday, Minister of Home Affairs Kareem Musa said that it may seem like the Police are under fire from all sides, but that this public catharsis is necessary to improve the Department and its service to the people.

“What you are seeing now, more than anything else over the last two and a half years, is a transparency that you in the media are perhaps not used to. We have made it abundantly clear that from taking over administration that there is a major culture shift within the Department that we have to make. Whether it is abuse, whether it is rogue officers, whether it’s corruption, whether it’s incompetence – we have a very hard line that we have taken and we have been very transparent with that. And so nobody is a sacred cow – it doesn’t matter what your title is, what your rank is – nobody is a sacred cow,” said Musa.

He argued that the culture shift is a faster effort to take action with rogue officers than was seen in the 13 years of the United Democratic Party’s administrations, and so while it may seem that things are falling apart, there is a concerted effort to root out the “five percent” of rogue officers and that will take some time.

Case in point: A corporal arraigned on charges of extortion was called back to work a few days later in Orange Walk Town last week. Musa said that on hearing of that today he would check on it.

In responding to the question of rebuilding trust and confidence in a battered institution, Musa said that without the public’s support, the Police will find it very difficult to carry out their duties. Even in the case of the civilian now under fire for the edibles incident, Musa said that while he may not have known his actions would lead to this pass, it does not excuse them.

As for Martinez, had Police conducted an improper investigation – as they have been accused by defense counsel Oscar Selgado of doing – of the Gillett incident, Musa could see a “heavy burden” falling on the system if Martinez walked last week. There is no guarantee that every case ends this way, but the value of proper investigation has been reinforced by the Martinez conviction.

 

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