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Four QRT Officers Detained Following Deadly Sugar City Shooting

Mar 27, 2023

Four QRT Officers Detained Following Deadly Sugar City Shooting

Four policemen attached to the Quick Response Team in Orange Walk have been taken into custody and will remain on interdiction until the probe has been completed.  Their identities have also been withheld, pending further directives from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.  According to Assistant Superintendent Alejandro Hernandez, who is assigned to the Development and Compliance Unit of the Belize Police Department, the body cam worn by the officer who heads the team was turned off during the incident.

Gerald Jones

Supt. Gerald Jones, Deputy, HNCIB

“Four police officers were detained pending the outcome of this investigation.  The rifles we have that were signed out by the police officers have since been seized, packaged and will be sent to the lab for testing.  The body cam that the police officers were using at that time, we found out that they had the body cam on their body but it was not turned on and so we need to conduct a further investigation to find out if there was any breach in terms of this situation.  In respect to that, also statements have been recorded from several witnesses to come forward and assist in this investigation.”

Alejandro Hernandez

ASP Alejandro Hernandez, Development & Compliance Unit, BPD

“We have a body cam [policy] that when there’s an incident, body cams must be on at all times, but if it‘s like a sensitive, “sexual” nature then the body cam are to stay off.  But since this incident happened, those body cams should have been on at all times.”

Isani Cayetano

“For all four officers involved, correct?”

ASP Alejandro Hernandez

“Yes, once each one of them had on a body cam, it must have been on.”

Chester Williams

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police

“But let me say that we are not there yet where each officer can be issue with a body cam, so what we normally do is that the person in charge of the team would have the body cam and he did have the body cam on but, as has been said, the body cam was turned off and that is a breach of our policy. The 223 expended shells are likely those discharged by the police.  The investigation, based on interviews conducted with the police officers, they are saying that neither of them had a nine millimeter pistol.  We‘re not going to say at this stage without having sufficient proof that the officers were indeed fired upon.  We still need to try and ascertain exactly where those two nine millimeter expended shells came from and to help us with that aspect of the investigation we are going to submit those shells to the National Forensic Science Services Ballistics Unit and they will be able to do the analysis to ascertain if in fact those expended shells were fired by any police weapons, as well as if it was discharged by any licensed weapon.”