It is a charge increasingly thrown at Belize City residents, as police attack the gang structure at its roots, but there was a dispute in Magistrate’s Court on Thursday over exactly what it means to display gang membership.
19 year old Jason Philip Briceno was one of two persons who police said were seen acting suspiciously while walking on Mayflower Street. Patrolling officers stopped and searched Briceno and his companion, and saw two tattoos on each arm, the one of the right arm reading the number ‘3’ and on the other arm ‘0’, together ’30’, a symbol of the Crips gang.
However, Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer apparently did not think it was that cut and dried. She commented after reading the facts of the case that it does not seem to her that Jason Briceno was displaying gang membership, if he was just walking on the street. She added that he had have been doing some sort of action for him to be displaying the tattoos on his forearms.
The construction worker from Sibun Street, Belize City, was releeased on bail of $500, avoiding going to jail for Christmas after pleading not guilty.
The case returns to court on January 16, 2015.