Yesterday Attorney Lisa Shoman told Love News that the Belize Police Department is racially profiling young men. Shoman concluded this after receiving several reports that officers were stopping and searching young men based on the color of their skin and what the officers believed to be their economic status. Shoman noted one particular example which occurred last week Thursday. On that day, three school boys in uniform were stopped and searched by police. Photographs of their faces were taken. Shoman says that this violates human rights laws. According to the Head of the Professional Standards Branch, ACP Chester Williams, if a complaint is made to his office by the parents or guardians of any of the students, he will conduct an investigation.
ACP Chester Williams, Head, P.S.B.
“Having received the complaint I’ll do my legal research to see exactly whether the police were right or wrong doing what they did and the result of my investigation will be used to advise the commissioner how we move forward where that is concerned. I know for a fact that we are signatories to the United Nation Convention Rights of A Child many of which have been domesticated by virtues of the Families and Children’s Act and when it comes to dealing with minors, the protocol is different than dealing with adults and we will have to look at it to see whether or not the police officers in that instant may have breached the rights of those children in conducting that search in that day in question.”
Legal Advisor for the Department, Senior Superintendent Bart Jones says that the new policing method is not tantamount to racial profiling.