National Security Press Release 10th April 2012 PDF Print

REPORT ON THE FINDINGS OF THE INVESTIGATING TEAM INTO THE ALLEGED BRUTALITY IN TAYLOR’S ALLEY

BELMOPAN

10th April, 2012

The Team that was established by the Honourable John Saldivar, Minister of National Security, to inquire into the allegations of the complainants of Taylor’s Alley, submitted its findings on the 4th April, 2012. The team found the behavior of the Police Officers on the 21st of March 2012 in Taylor’s Alley to be excessive and unjustifiable. While the team is mindful of the fact that there may be occasion for the use of force, they were of the opinion that there is no indication that this was such an occasion. The evidence is that the Police took the complainants by surprise and they received immediate compliance from the complainants.

In view of the findings of the Investigating Team, the Ministry has decided to do the following:

1.    All ground commanders and individuals identified as those that were excessive in their behavior will be removed from their specialized units.

2.    Overall training on law and procedure will be given to all members of specialized units

3.    Thorough review of the criteria for membership of specialized units will be done.

While action will be taken against the identified perpetrators, the Investigating Team believes that traditional disciplinary action would not yield much success at this time. Furthermore, the Investigating Team has established that some of the stories of the complainants and the witnesses were to some degree embellished.

The Ministry of National Security recognizes that this incident must be treated delicately since; while a stern message of zero tolerance for police brutality must be sent to Police officers, it must ensure that public respect for Law Enforcement Officers is maintained and morale within the Department is not derailed. The Ministry assures the general public that the work of the specialized units will continue and there will be no tolerance for criminal activity of any sort. The Police will, however, be held accountable to ensure that their work is conducted in a professional, firm and respectable manner.

The Ministry of National Security apologizes, on behalf of the Commissioner and members of the Belize Police Department, to the residents of Taylor’s Alley for the excessive behavior of its officers. The Ministry of National Security also takes this opportunity to thank Mr. Hughington Williams, Ms. Donelle Hawke and Mr. Ian Gray for their professional and impartial assessment of the circumstances surrounding the incidents in Taylor Alley on the 21st March, 2012, as disclosed in the report of the Team.

 

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