The Professional Standards Branch of the Police Department has been kept busy over the last few weeks taking complaints from Belize City residents who have suffered at the hands of those called to protect and serve them.
On Wednesday it provided an update on several cases, some of which have seen charges filed.
Assistant Superintendent of Police Glen Rivero, who commands the Professional Standards Branch in Eastern Division, spoke to the press on the incident involving Armani Bailey, who was taken from his residence by officers and left for dead in a garbage dumpster up the George Price Highway, and Jermaine Ciego who was also abused.
“Mr Bailey’s case was investigated. The two Police Officers that came in contact with him were dealt with disciplinary. They have been charged.
The case of Mr Ceigo was also investigated. Those two Police Officers who came in contact with him have been dealt with disciplinary also. They have been charged. Those officers will also be dealt with criminally.
Each and every person should know that these investigations and the process needs to be thoroughly investigated. Each case, each incident, has due process from the Police Department and the Professional Standards Branch.
I would like to ask that the general public be mindful that in order to be successful in dealing with these matters, we will afford the police Department the time, to ensure these matters sre properly dealt with.”
ASP Rivero says the case involving Allan McCoy, who was brutalized by GSU officers after being fingered in the accident that injured one of their own Constable Dejohn Cayetano, needs further investigation.
ASP Glen Rivero
“In the case of Mr. McCoy, that matter is still under investigation. It’s a matter that have been reported to the Professional Standards Branch since Sunday. Myself and assistant Commissioner Leal, who is our overall commander at Professional Standards Branch, met this morning.
We have been provided with a copy of the file that we have so far, so that himself, the Commissioner, and the other legal team in Belmopan can go over what we have. In no way the case is closed. It is ongoing, and I want to assure Mr. McCoy that as long as the officers who have assaulted him are positively identified, they will be charged.”
And ASP Rivero says that Inspector Mark Flowers, GSU Commander who was involved in this and a previous incident where he allegedly drew a firearm on two women on Wilson Street, may go to a higher authority.
ASP Glen Rivero
“I want to tell you guys that this morning, myself and Assistant Commissioner Leal, who is my Commander, met. He was furnished with a copy of the investigation so far.
As it relates to any Senior Officer, when it comes to violation of Standard Procedures, Disciplinary Procedures, these matters are dealt with by the Services Commission.
That’s the reason why Mr Leal come forward this morning. He got a copy of it. The matter will be discussed with the Commissioner, so that they can see what offences, if any, Mr Flowers can be dealt with, through that disciplinary body.
[This relates to] both matters.”
Finally, there is developing news of another police abuse.
On Wednesday a team of officers conducting an operation searched a house in Belize City, and it is alleged that one of them ran off with some jewelry belonging to the home owner.
After receiving an immediate report, the PSB has moved swiftly on the case.
ASP Glen Rivero
“As we continue our fight against corruption, against abuse of our citizens’ constitutional rights, I also want to update that there is a case that occurred today, where we received an information from a young lady, who claimed her house was searched and some jewellery went missing.
That matter was pursued and the team that went to her house was immediately gathered. There were informed that none of the team members should leave. One of the members left and we pursued him, and we ending up arresting him and a young lady with the jewellery. He will be charged for that. He will also be charged for using a motorcycle not covered under third party risk insurance and not registered.“
Court sources say this officer and two others alleged to be involved in the Jermaine Ciego case will be brought to court on Thursday.