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Human Rights Commission of Belize condemns Police actions on San Pedro Island

As a result of the video, the Human Rights Commission of Belize fired off a release, describing the incident as disturbing and a case of excessive force.  The release reads, in part, quote, “It is especially lamentable that it falls within a time when the narrative is protected by the fear brought on by a deadly spike in murders for the new year.  Law abiding citizens have a reassuring expectation that the police will not break or abuse the law and their authority. They ought not to have to choose between criminal acts by the police and law protection.  The HRCB will first give the opportunity to the internal disciplinary infrastructure of the Belize Police Department, to do their due diligence however we require that there be a timely, proportionate and just response.:  End of quote.  Vice President for the Human Rights Commission, Kevin Arthurs spoke to Love News on their response.

Vice President for the Human Rights Commission Kevin Arthurs: “Have you read the release? Well first the Commissioner is heavy hearted in having to deal with such an adversity in the beginning of the year. We had hoped that we would have been giving other positive things this year and we know that there will be positive things for the remainder of the year but this is the plight that the Belizean public is facing and we believe that it is important that it be addressed. First we are deeply disturbed by the actions of this police officer. We believe that Police Department are agents of trust and we have a difficulty finding justification in the assault and under what circumstances it is okay to kick an unarmed subdued civilian to the head and as you would surmise there are very few situations if any at all. I don’t want the public to feel as though we are defending criminals, that’s not the case. It is a matter of policing the police and ensuring that the police do their job without breaking the law and it’s sad that we have to say that.”

The release went on to express disappointment that the accompanying officers failed to intervene or to restrain the civilian who also kicked the guys who were being beaten.  Adding that the, “the reasonable position of the law-abiding public against the rogue actions of the police officer, PC Tyrell Rowley, does not mitigate nor exclude any criminal acts committed by the victim of his assault before the incident and any such action should be met with the full weight of the law.”