The senseless and unjustified killing of a teenage boy by a trigger-happy police corporal has sparked outrage throughout the country. The public is calling for Kareem Martinez to be dealt with to the fullest extent of the law. He was arraigned this morning on a single charge of manslaughter and tonight he is out on bail, sparking even more outrage. A community of Belizeans from all sectors of society has formed to collectively condemn the fatal shooting of Laddie Gillett. Henry Charles Usher is the Area Representative for Fort George ad Gillett’s biological mother is a voter in his constituency. He spoke on the tragic incident.
Henry Charles Usher, Minister of Public Service, Constitutional Reform and Political Reform “First of all let me offer my condolences to the family. I know the mother of the young man very well she’s a voter here, a resident of Fort George and the father as well is a resident in Fort George. I know the young man was living in Cayo so I was surprised to hear he was down in Placencia so certainly my sympathies, my condolences to the family it is a very tragic, unfortunate event. I don’t know the circumstances of it, I don’t know the facts surrounding it. I’ve only heard what I’ve read on the media so far. I think it’s important as the Commissioner of Police said that the matter has been turned over to the Director of Public Prosecutions and she will make the determination as to what if any charges are laid against the police officer in the case. It’s a very sad event. I wish it didn’t happen and again let me say that’s why these types of initiatives like we’re doing today with the Love Foundation they are very important so that we can give an alternative to our young persons who have so much potential in this country. You know whenever I travel throughout Belize, here in Fort George, all over the city, all over the country we see young people with so much potential and we need to be able to harness that potential and not hold it back.”
Minister of Youth, Sports and E-Governance, Kevin Bernard, also commented on the matter. He said (quote) “It is disheartening to learn of the killing of the minor, without apparent cause or justification. This fourteen-year-old had his entire life ahead of him…I join the rest of the country in a call for a proper investigation to be carried out and justice to be served…” (Unquote).