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Orange Walk Family Wants Justice Against Policeman Who “Murdered” Their Son

Mar 27, 2023

Orange Walk Family Wants Justice Against Policeman Who “Murdered” Their Son

Dyandre Chee

A nineteen-year-old father of a one-year-old baby girl is dead after he was shot by a police officer during a high-speed chase in Orange Walk Town on Saturday night. The incident unfolded on the Palmar Road and continued into Main Road, before it ended on the Belize-Corozal Road where Dуаndrе “Yаdіеl” Сhее was shot dead. It is a tragedy that has two very different versions. On one side are the law enforcement officers who were on duty that night who claimed that they were returning fire upon three persons on two motorcycles, while the three friends, two of whom are teens and the other, a female on a separate motorbike, say that they were simply driving when they were terrorized by a vehicle that pursued them at high speed, blinding their view with high beam lights in their rear view mirrors, and whose occupants opened fire at them continuously. At no time did the two survivors say they heard the officers identify themselves, nor did they engage their siren to let them know they were cops. What’s worse is that the youth who was killed nor did his friends have any weapon on them. It is an incident that the Commissioner of Police has instructed a criminal and internal investigation into and one that saw a family lose a son on the birthday of his younger brother. News Five’s Marion Ali reports.

Marion Ali, Reporting

The incident that unfolded between ten-thirty and eleven on Saturday night on Palmar Road and eventually on the Belize Corozal Road is eerily reminiscent of the fatal Allison Major shooting that took place in downtown Belize City on July 16th, 2019. Three friends on two motorcycles were riding around town. But their bikes backfired when gearing down and the popping sound alerted one resident to call the police and report that shots were being fired in their vicinity. The police department’s Quick Response Team showed up. As it turned out, after only a few minutes of police pursuit, one of the riders, Dyandre Chee, was dead. His passenger, Miguel Rivero, only seventeen, spoke to the media with his mother’s permission.

Voice of: Miguel Rivero

Voice of: Miguel Rivero, Friend of deceased

“We mi di come round Solomon School, right, and we done mi di come home fi come right ya da my house and then same time pahn the avenue, police mi di come down and then dehn just (put) on dehn light and come afta wi. But then the cycle, he nuh got back brakes, right, soh the cycle backfire and when cycle backfire, ih tek out fire to from the muffler. And then, dehn mussi think that we shoot and then, they start to shoot after we to. We di fly the bump. I di raise my hand mek they see that we nuh have no gun, right? Nothing. I di raise my hand three time. And then I see dehn still di shoot after we. And then I bring up my sleeve to right cause I mi have on green a hoodie and I bring up my sleeve and I di tell dehn nuh shoot, nuh shoot, I di holler to. And then they still shoot after we.”

Rivero and his friend, Yahari Villeda say all the while they were trying to do was escape from their pursuers, they never knew it was the police.

Marion Ali

“At any point did they tell you to stop or to yield?”

Voice of: Miguel Rivero

“I neva hear nothing, Miss. To be honest, I neva hear nothing sake ah the muffler and I hear dehn di shoot. I nuh hear nothing.”

Yahari Villeda

Yahari Villeda, Friend of Deceased

“We were coming down Palmar Boundary Road.  We di come di tek wi time, cruise, probably thirty, forty the most, cruise. And then when we see wa bright light di come from Liberty Avenue and they come high speed close, fast, bright high beam. And then I tell Alberto, “bwai, I watch that light deh.” And I tell ah “who di come deh cause deh come with speed and Alberto seh “I nuh know, but I di move before dehn knock we.” At this point, I had no idea this da police. All I see da wa big vehicle. I nuh know what tell me turn around, and I do soh n when I see the pick-up close fi hit me, Miss.”

At this point during the chase, Yahari Villeda, who was alone on her bike, said their pursuers passed her and set out after her friends, Miguel Rivero and Dyandre Chee, who were on the other bike.  She decided to divert and go down another lane. A short while later, she caught up with them, but her friend, Dyandre was already fatally wounded.

Dyandre Chee

Yahari Villeda

“When I reach, I see the cycle dash pahn one side and I seh dehn mussi crash. They must flick them or knock them from behind something, but dehn mussi crash because I see when I reach, I see he done deh right deh. Deh just knock the man off pan the ground. Alberto dash down deh and I see dehn di kick Alberto. I see deh hold  Alberto, look fi handcuff ah.”

Villeda says that when she arrived at the scene, the police who were there didn’t know she was the other motorcyclist.

Marion Ali

“No police officer came to take a statement from you yet?”

Yahari Villeda

“No, Miss because dehn never seven recognize da who dehn di chase. Dehn neva know da me. I mi deh right deh di talk with dem. And dehn neva know da me dehn just chase.”

Marion Ali

What were they saying when they talked to you?

Dyandre Chee

Yahari Villeda

“Dehn tell mi “get outta my scene. Dehn di push me, mean time dehn di chance he and I tell dem “nuh man unu can’t chancey the man. The man just seventeen and the next one da my worker.”

Miguel Rivero says that his friend gave his life for him.

Voice of: Miguel Rivero

“When I see he point the gun at me, I hurry bring down my head and I bring down his head to. I tell ah “bring down yoh head” I tell ah and then all he tell me “no dog, dehn wa shoot yoh” cause dehn mi done shoot one in the ground. And then he tell me “no dog, dehn wa shoot yoh.” Mek ih be only he. Jump off he tell me. I tell ah da two ah we, two ah we wa dead together.” And then he said he no dog and he elbow me. When he elbow me I kinda slide pahn the side. And same time dehn shoot ah.”

Dyandre’s friends said that he had just gotten the bike and that he did not yet go to get it insured. But even if he somehow knew it was the police who were chasing after him and were trying to flee them, his father, Alberto Chee said that was no reason to kill anyone.

Alberto Chee

Alberto Chee, Father of deceased

“There was no need for that to shoot my son. There was no need.”

Marion Ali

“How is your family coping with such a loss and the way it happened?”

Alberto Chee

“Well, we just right the home said what happened, because there was no need for that, for that police to kill my son. No need.”

Alberto Chee said that as he and his family celebrated their younger son’s birthday that day, their eldest son’s life was taken. Prime Minister John Briceño whose constituency is also in Orange Walk, agreed with Chee’s father that the killing could have been avoided.

Prime Minister John Briceño

Prime Minister John Briceño

“I think it was a, senseless death. It’s something that could have been avoided. I don’t think I could go into detail as to what happened because obviously there will have to be an investigation as to find out exactly what happened, but it shows two things or maybe a number of things, or I’ll put it to three. First of all is that one that is a citizen. If the police tells you to stop, you should stop. And I was told that they are these in these young men were racing in tong, away from police. And maybe you don’t want to stop where it’s dark, but once you get by the park or in front of a store, okay, stop. The police do whatever it is that they want to do. Secondly, and again secondly, it shows also a lack of truth. Either a lack of a lack of respect for the police or a lack of confidence in police, because many times they believe that police, the police will brutalize them. So that’s, that’s my second point. The lack of respect and the lack of, of not having the trust on the police. Mm-hmm. And the third one is also the lack of proper training on the part of the police department of our police officers. This obvious that our police officers need more training.”

The parents of Miguel Rivero are also upset that the police allegedly abused him when they intercepted them. Marion Ali for News Five.