We also reported on the fracas in Belize City’s Yarbrough Area on Monday night. Police responded to an illegal party in progress that had at least a dozen people in the yard. The residents say police assaulted them but yesterday, three people were charged for the illegal gathering and the physical violence that ensued. The Commissioner was very candid about the officers’ decision to respond to the physical attack by partygoers.
Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police: “Here you are you have a man who is openly admitting to have been breaking the law. He said without any reservation that they were having a birthday party, without reservation that so much people were at this birthday party and the police came. The police went there because the police have a mandate under the current regulation to ensure that the provisions of the regulations that is put in place to keep all of us safe are adhered to. When a person breaks the law it is the duty of the police to respond and when the police got there then the police were attacked. What must the police do? Must they stay there and allow themselves to be beaten, their guns taken away and have them killed ? Or must they do what needs to be done to protect themselves and to protect others. I honestly believe having seen the video that the police officers who responded exercised great restraint in the circumstances but yet still Channel 7 had the audacity to say that the police were react again. Why?”
The COMPOL was also very frank about the need for a drastic change of people’s attitudes to the regulations.
Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police: “When you break the law you expect the police must come and humble themselves to you ? What kind of society would we be in ? It needs to change and like I said the way we report incidents can make those persons who are committing these crimes understand you know what nobody is with us or it can make them say ‘Oh well you know what the media is supporting me so yeah we’ll continue to do what we’re doing.’ We all have a responsibility.”
Twenty-one-year-old Dylan Belisle, forty-six-year-old Dean Belisle and twenty-seven-year-old Romario Meighan were charged for attending a private gathering that includes people from outside of the immediate household. They are also to be charged for assaulting a police officer. Police say that one of the responding officers was kicked to the face and another was punched to the chest. The video of the fracas went viral on social media.