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Police’s list of misconduct gets longer

Police who are charged to uphold the law and keep the peace, of late, are acting in ways unbecoming of an officer.   Today Assistant Commissioner of Police who heads the Professional Standards Branch, Chester Williams, spoke of an incident that took place a month ago in the western part of the country, where a number of police officers are under investigation for allegedly stealing cocaine.

Assist Commissioner of Police Chester Williams – Head of Professional Standards Branch

“Shortly after 10 p.m. we got information of what sounded like shots being fired near the BelCan bridge area. Police immediately responded and they were able to track down and intercept a vehicle and when the vehicle was intercepted it was found to contain three police officers who are actually on a course here Belize City and they were detained and an investigation is being conducted as we speak and we are deciding what the charges will be whether disciplinary or criminal.

Reporter: Are these the same two officers who are believed to have left New Asia Restaurant on Vernon Street and brandished the firearm at the security guards because they didn’t want to pay for food?

Assist Commissioner of Police Chester Williams – Head of Professional Standards Branch

“Yes that is my understand. I don’t know what kind of food but it was something they got from the restaurant.”

Reporter

“And they are from where?”

Assist Commissioner of Police Chester Williams – Head of Professional Standards Branch

“They are from different parts of the country. They are actually participating in the GREAT program which is the community policing program.”

Assist Commissioner of Police Chester Williams – Head of Professional Standards Branch

“What are their ranks?”

Assist Commissioner of Police Chester Williams – Head of Professional Standards Branch

“As far as I know it’s a corporal and two constables.”

Assist Commissioner of Police Chester Williams – Head of Professional Standards Branch

“Are you at liberty to disclose their names at this point?”

Assist Commissioner of Police Chester Williams – Head of Professional Standards Branch

“I wouldn’t like to at this time until they have been dealt with.”

Reporter

“Will they be charged for aggravated assault since they allegedly pulled the firearm and discharged it?”

Assist Commissioner of Police Chester Williams – Head of Professional Standards Branch

“We are now looking into it and I have had preliminary information that that has been the case and if that is so more than likely we will be proceeding with charges along those”

ACP Williams was also asked to comment on an incident that took place on Tuesday night, September 26, at a restaurant in Belize City.

 

Assist Commissioner of Police Chester Williams – Head of Professional Standards Branch

“There was only one officer who is a part of the GREAT program who was a part of that and that is the corporal, Corporal Parham. The investigation that has been conducted revealed that on Tuesday night the officers went to New Asian and they ordered food, having obtained the food there was a dispute because the officers refused to pay and during the dispute it is alleged that the corporal took out a firearm and wielded it in the direction of the proprietors of the New Asia restaurant and a female who was nearby. We have obtained statements from the female but the proprietors of the restaurant are not cooperating so based on the statement given by the lady as well as that of another officer who was present when the incident occurred we are levying criminal charges against Corporal Parham for aggravated assault as well as for discharging firearm in public. One of the constable who is Corporal John Galvez he will charged disciplinarily for act to prejudice order and discipline the other officer we have nothing against him so he will be released.”

Also on Tuesday night, in San Pedro, it was reported that two police officers were involved in an altercation that took place in a bar located on Glitters Street. The off-duty officers exited the bar, thereafter, gunshots were heard outside the bar. At the scene police recovered two 9mm expended shells. Williams was also asked to comment on this, however, he only confirmed that it indeed happened, but did not have the details.

Assist Commissioner of Police Chester Williams – Head of Professional Standards Branch

“Yes a multiagency investigation is being conducted by the professional standards branch and I’ve gotten preliminary reports with recommendations and we are perusing them and we will be seeking legal advice as to how to proceed with that case. I don’t want to discuss it too much because it might end up being a case for the courts or some other authority to decide so I wouldn’t want to prejudice anything.”

Reporter

“Are you able to confirm six SPU officers or is it eight SPU officers and that its 26 parcels of cocaine?”

Assist Commissioner of Police Chester Williams – Head of Professional Standards Branch

“I can confirm that it is less than the six or eight. We have in focus from four but I cannot confirm the amount of parcels.”

Reporter:

“Can you give us the background on what transpired to put it into some perspective.”

Assist Commissioner of Police Chester Williams – Head of Professional Standards Branch

“As I said I wouldn’t want to get into much detail but basically an operation was conducted, supposedly and there is only one actual person who is speaking but we have to do a lot of cooperation and multi-agency investigation to reach a point to decide whether something did happen or not.”