During Tuesday morning’s riot at the Belize Central Prison 26-year-old Stephan Jenkins was shot to the butt and had to be taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. According to Jenkins’ father, Ian Jenkins, he learned of the death of his son from the news outlets. In an interview yesterday the father said he believes there is more to the story that what is being said.
Ian Jenkins, Father of Deceased: “We heard the thing happened from early in the morning. After two a friend of mine came to call me and then he told me about this thing and he rode all the way here to come tell me because he said he didn’t want to tell me about it on the phone by those times they put it out already that he had already died. But it seems this thing happened a while and they had him there about two hours or so just bleeding out. I think they wanted my son dead. Where is the taser, and rubber bullet and those things ? I mean shucks it’s out of order because you will treat everybody like a criminal. They’re there doing a little time fine but it’s them responsible for those people. I understand my son went there and my daughter went there and some of the police are behaving vicious at them and he was explaining “I came to see my brother.” he went with his ID and everything and “You can’t do that without the police.” but they are police there, they’re supposed to escort him to see the body and come out back. I don’t know and then sometimes when you go to the higher – well just now went and met Mr.Cowo and he is a nice person, he took us all through it everything and he actually took my son to the morgue and brought him back to station.”
As it relates to Jenkins’ upset over not being properly notified by the prison authorities, CEO Virgilio Murrillo explained that there is a process followed in situations like these.
Virgilio Murillo, CEO, Kolbe Foundation: “I know the standard procedure is they would inform them, normally my medical officer does that so I didn’t hear the news last night so I cannot really say what happened and this question like I said I wasn’t expecting this question because normally the prison medical officer would have notified the family once they receive news of his passing.”
Reporter: Okay so at this point you can’t say whether or not he had-
Virgilio Murillo, CEO, Kolbe Foundation: “No I cannot say. I would have had to consult with the doctor but I know normally that is a smooth thing that happens because it’s not the first time prisoners have died in prison I mean prisoners die of illnesses, heart attacks etc and it’s a standard operating procedure right now that it is normally the doctor that would relay that message so can’t say because I haven’t spoken to the doctor specifically about that thing. We’ve spoken about other things.”
Reporter: What about the case of Akeem Tillett ?
Virgilio Murillo, CEO, Kolbe Foundation: “The would be on the hands of the police because remember he was not killed in the prison he was killed out there where he escaped so that would be the police would have to notify the family.”
Following Murillo’s interview, he contacted our newsroom to clarify that since Jenkins died at the hospital the onus was on the medical officer at that facility to inform the family. Jenkins was serving a twenty-year sentence for murder.