According to reports made by 19 year old Elston Arnold, on Monday May 26th, he and a few friends were returning from a wake when they were stopped by four officers on a Mahindra pick up vehicle.
According to Elston’s version of the story, he had already turned around and was walking away when he was shot in the back with a shotgun.
Police claim the shotgun was armed with non-lethal plastic pellets. An internal investigation found all four officers guilty and were jointly charged for the offence of harm
“Yesterday evening, we received the instructions for us to proceed and charge the four officers criminally. As a result, Corporal Ricky Valencia, PC Jesus Marroquin, PC Valerio and Special Constable Budna were jointly charged for the crime of Harm. Additionally, PC Marroquin was charged for Attempted Murder, Use of Deadly Means of Harm and wounding. Out of the four persons, Corporal Valencia and PC Marroquin were also charged for this, disciplinary at this moment. So, because of the unavailability of magistrate here in San Ignacio and Belmopan, Corporal Valencia, PC Valerio an d PC Budna were given Justice of the Peace Bail today and they will be arraigned on Monday at 9:00 in the morning at the San Ignacio Magistrate’s Court. Interdiction is half pay to what I know, but they will not be working; they will be in a summoned suspension today, until when the case is over”.
Insp. Reymundo Reyes: “The incident itself might have caused a damage to us because for the longest we have never had such incident, and that is the reason why we put our input into the investigation in ensuring that at the end of the day, we have an end result where officers were charged for the action that they did out there. We always speak with them to be polite with the public because we must remember that we are the guardians of the citizens out there. They see us as the persons who protect them and not the persons to cause injury on them. So, I believe that the family of the young man Arnold is satisfied that justice has been done; we just have to go and wait for the outcome of the case when it goes to the magistrate’s court”.
19 year old Elston has since been discharged from the Hospital and is now at home recovering from his injury. According to Inspector Reyes, the Family of Elston Arnold has the option of filing a private prosecution against the officers.