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Dangirga Men Claim Police Brutality

A pair of brothers in the Stann Creek District are claiming that they were assaulted by police officers. Luis and Edilberto Arzu breached the curfew regulations when they were attending a wake at the Garcia’s residence in Hope Creek Village on Saturday night. Police officers arrived at the location and according to Edilberto, the officers accused them of throwing something at the police mobile. He and his brother were handcuffed and Edilberto says the officers used excessive force. Here is Senior Reporter Hipolito Novelo with the details.

Hipolito Novelo, Love News: Brothers Edilberto and Luis Arzu say they were unjustly manhandled by police officers on Saturday night. A female police officer instructs witnesses to not video but the 22 second footage speaks for itself, a confrontation between the brothers Arzu and police officers on the street side, punches are thrown and kicks are fired as the brothers Arzu prove difficult to subdue and arrest. The brothers were part of a larger group at the Garcia’s residence in Hope Creek Village attending a wake. The problem is that they were outside their homes during curfew hours.

Edilberto Arzu, Claims Police Brutality: “We were at the Garcia residence because the boy that just died Mr.Javier he used to be a taxi man that taxi from Hope Creek to Griga, was a nice man and everything and we were chilling -.”

Harry Arzu, Stann Creek Correspondent: What time was this ? 

Edilberto Arzu, Claims Police Brutality: “This was around nine o’clock, like five minutes past nine but then police reached and they bust shot and then I had a beer in my hand and one of the police man grabbed the beer and threw it all over me and he started slapping me and hit my in my head. I was asking him why did that and he didn’t answer me and told me that we are breaching curfew. But then it was not only us that was there, a lot of people were out, a lot of people were still there. After that we walked and he was chasing us and we walked a little more and when we walked we heard a bang.”

Hipolito Novelo, Love News: And that bag escalated things. Someone threw something at the police mobile and officers suspected it was the brothers.

Edilberto Arzu, Claims Police Brutality: “And then from there he put the hand cuff and he still hit me and I walked and they put my in the back of the car and then when they put me in the back of the car they were still hitting me and I was already handcuffed and they hit me hard. They hit me in my ears and I still can’t hear good from this ear. They had my little brother on the ground. When I looked they had him on the ground and they were beating him and I told them “Why are you doing that just take him in he’s not doing anything. He’s not even resisting arrest.” and they were still beating him on the ground and from there they grabbed him and threw him in the back of the truck.”

Hipolito Novelo, Love News: The brothers were arrested and slapped with charges including resisting arrest. They sought medical attention and their injuries were classified as wounding. They say officers used excessive force.

Edilberto Arzu, Claims Police Brutality: “Well I call it police brutality because they abused just because they are in uniform they feel good that they have the power to do all of that. They charged me for damaging property and resisting arrest but like the other guy was saying he saw who threw the bottle to the police car and I didn’t throw anything. Me and the next one got ‘damage to property.’ Carlos Fuentes he was right there with us. Today we got released. I would want to take it higher in the law and report it and see if we can get anything out of it because I don’t think this is right.”