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Gun fire Salvo lead to GSU action in the Mayflower area Print E-mail
( 4 Votes )
Written by Administrator   
Wednesday, 28 March 2018 00:00

Following an eruptive evening in the Mayflower Street Area, there is tension between the residents of that area, as well as other Belizeans, and the Gang Suppression Unit. Kendis Flowers was murdered in the wee hours of Saturday, March 17, 2018 and on Sunday, March 25, 2018, he was buried but this did not go without being an event all its own.

After the funeral, a barrage of gun fire let off to bid the gang leader farewell and this caused GSU personnel to be deployed into the Ghost Town/Mayflower area. According to several reports, residents in the area were becoming fearful and made several requests for police intervention. According to Deputy Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams, they were allowing the funeral goers to mourn in peace but after incessant complaints from the residents, GSU personnel had to be sent in the area.

What then transpired was a violent contact between mourners, men, women, and children, and GSU personnel. Before long, one of the residents was apprehended and this resulted in a barrage of explicit words and objects being hurled at the officers. Two officers were injured by pint bottles being thrown at them and despite numerous reports of GSU officers firing shots at the residents, no one was injured with any live rounds. Video circulation of a woman on the ground is allegedly of a woman that fainted during the ordeal.

Since then, the nation seems to have been divided as it pertains to this incident. What remains, the Ministry of National Security, having already reviewed the facts surrounding the confrontation, claims satisfaction saying “that there was justifiable cause for security personnel to enter the area as there were multiple reports of gunfire in the vicinity, which created a state of fear and panic among residents in the area. Furthermore, the Ministry is satisfied that the authorities exercised great restraint in the face of verbal and physical attacks on them. The incident resulted in the injury of two (2) Police Officers. The Ministry of National Security reiterates its commitment to restore peace and security for the residents of Belize City, and its determination to secure the incarceration of those responsible for public terror.”

Senior Superintendent Howell Gillett maintains the same response, saying that “despite the community’s disdain for the GSU, they had authority to enter the neighborhood” when the residents broke the law when they decided to discharge their own weapons.

In an effort to effectively and efficiently address the problem of crime, the Ministry of National Security will host a nationwide consultation. The ministry will embark on a nationwide consultation with stakeholders to discuss and share ideas and possible strategies to address the situation of crime in Belize. The invitation has been extended to the Belize National Teachers Union on April 11th, 2018 and to the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Belize Council of Churches, and the National Trade Union Congress of Belize on April 13th, 2018.

It is the intention of the Ministry of National Security to meet with all interested stakeholders over the next few weeks.