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Local avocados cause commotion in Michael Finnegan Market Print E-mail
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Thursday, 22 March 2018 00:00

On Thursday March 15th, what was supposed to have been a routine delivery of avocado pears at the Michael Finnegan Market turned into a surreal event as police officers of the Special Patrol Unit descended on the pear supplier to arrest him. By all appearances the man making the delivery was believed to be making a drop of illegal Mexican avocados. It caused quite a commotion as police officers pulled up and immediately bystanders began to video the event.

The tape shows as officers first attempted to arrest the pear delivery man then showed them telling the man to load the pears, 750 of them in 9 crocus bags, into the pan of a police mobile pickup truck. The man refused and the task had to be done by the officers themselves. Shortly thereafter the video shows as one officer attempted to grab the cellphone of one person who was videotaping the event. Then suddenly one police officer rushed to the pear delivery man and began to try to arrest him. It was an ugly sight as the man resisted, hugging a lamp post and being hauled and pulled by the officers. It was a sight that Deputy Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams was non too pleased with.

He stated that he was disturbed by what he saw and added that, “Whether or not the avocados were contraband, is not something I think the police were in a position to say. And for them to have done what they did in terms of taking the avocado - and eventually I saw them in a drain, destroyed - I think it was rather unprofessional. And as such, those officers must be dealt with and some effort must be made for them to compensate that young man for his products. In a situation like that, it could have been handled differently as well: if the police is trying to take the young man to the station, obviously there is nothing to suggest that he had committed a crime - so he was not compelled to go with them. In that same vain I also want to appeal to the public that whenever the police are executing their duties, try to exercise some degree of civility in the sense that, try not to aggress the police or to be using profanity to the police officers. Yes I know at times you get frustrated, because of the situation, but we must always ensure that commonsense prevail at all times.”

Police have said that an investigation into the matter is ongoing and that the owner should be compensated for the loss. And as we await that, free lance journalist, Jose Sanchez reported via facebook that, “The owner of the lost and legal produce is Ana Cowo who was compensated for the loss by a Belizean American in Chicago, Ramon Palma, the owner of a plumbing service (Ramon & Sons). He was apparently moved by the incident and decided to compensate Cowo for her loss. He wired the money over the weekend to Sanchez and on Monday he handed two thousand dollars to Cowo.

Sanchez says he is working on a show called “After the Headlines” that is in development and will be shown on Facebook, YouTube and tv.

As for the avocados they are locally grown in San Victor in Corozal, out of season and all.