Posted: Tuesday, May 2, 2023. 5:59 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: Almost two weeks ago, 41-year-old Jervis “Diamond” Valencia was shot on Logwood Street while leaving a session of the Leadership Intervention Unit (LIU). He remains hospitalized and bedridden with a severe leg injury, while two men accused of committing and abetting the shooting are on remand in the Central Prison.
But video shared to Breaking Belize News earlier today shows Valencia sitting up in bed, leg stretched out in a cast, talking to officers as they searched around his bed and making a phone call to Deputy Commissioner of Police Richard Rosado asking him to query the reason why he was being searched. We also understand that Minister of Home Affairs Kareem Musa has also visited Valencia.
Why did separate police units twice visit Valencia’s hospital bed at Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) in the past few days to search for a firearm, which for obvious reasons other than security and those on duty guarding suspects, prisoners, and inmates, is not allowed inside?
The Commissioner would not take this question this afternoon on this matter at a press briefing but said he would personally visit Valencia’s bedside to explain why police acted in this manner and to assure his safety. He also insisted that the injured man was not being harassed, or bullied, and to suggest otherwise is “mischief.”
“The police received certain information; based on the information received, [the officers] went to the hospital, they met with Jervis, they spoke to him and he cooperated with the police to verify or deny the information. That was done and the police left,” Commissioner Williams said. The video provided to the press of the second search conducted on Monday has also been seen by the Commissioner and there is nothing in it, he said, that showed officers harassing and/or bullying Valencia.
The Commissioner also made sure to note that “If the police get information right now that guns or drugs are at your home, they will go and search. It is the nature of police work and we must understand that. The LIU must not be seen as a shield for anybody to believe that they are not amenable to be searched by the police – it must not.”
The Commissioner did not say whether anything was found, or what exactly police are investigating concerning Valencia, and whether it was connected to his shooting.
This afternoon, an American missionary who said she was working with Valencia told us that his visitors were also searched, including two of her ministry partners. She adds that police refused to say why they were searching Jervis and that he feels targeted and at risk.
We tried to reach Valencia himself but our calls and messages have gone unanswered. The Commissioner did note that some of his own men donated blood on Valencia’s behalf and he remains in relatively stable condition but needs surgery for his damaged leg.
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