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Minister Musa Says Police Officers will Soon Have to Stand Alone in Cases of Abuse Lawsuits

The Government of Belize is looking to make some amendments that would see police officers having to answer to their own acts of abusive behavior. Today, Minister Kareem Musa was asked about a case where a family in Corozal is suing six police officers following a house raid in October 2020. It was based on that question that the minister announced that officers will soon have to take on those lawsuits personally instead of the Police Department.

Kareem Musa, Minister of Home Affairs: “That’s been something that’s been plaguing the department for many years. I’ve had meetings with the Attorney General regarding these cases there are a multitude of them and so that’s a huge problem and one of the things that I mentioned to commanders at our COMPSTAT meeting earlier in the first quarter of this year was that we have to look at surcharging officers individually. It’s not an easy pill to swallow by any means to hear that you personally will be responsible if you are found guilty of abusing or brutalizing a civilian but that is where we need to look at because it cannot be that the government has to intervene in all of these situations to pay on behalf of rogue officers. So there’s one aspect of yes dealing with officers tribunal dismissing them if necessary but there’s also the possibility of instituting a surcharge having those individuals financially responsible for their actions so that’s something that we’re looking towards.”