Street Justice Protocol? Charged for Lying about Shooting Incident Print E-mail
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Written by Shane D. Williams   
Thursday, 28 August 2014 00:00

For many Belizeans, Street Justice is perhaps the only reliable system in the country today. Many great religious leaders and philosophers of old have famous quotes denouncing such belief. We are told to “turn the other cheek” and we are warned about the dark consequences of “an eye for an eye”. Those warnings only enter deaf ears in Belize today. In Belize today, no unkind stare is to go unnoticed; no harsh words are to go unanswered and no advancement should be met with retreat.

“If yo shoot atta me yo betta kech caz wen I coh fi yo I noh di miss.” – Anonymous Belize City Street Youth.

There is an order to the madness of Street Justice; a process to be followed if one is to ensure that Justice is served. The first and most important rule is the victim must not cooperate with police. If someone shoots at you, “noh goh cry da police”. This is where misdirection is key and a recent case demonstrates how it is done. 19-year-old Troy Augustus was convicted of committing a mischievous act on Wednesday, August 20. According to police, Augustus was with Coreen Corey when they were victims of a drive by shooting in front of the Ramada Belize City Princess on June 8 of this year. Augustus gave investigators a wrong description of the type of vehicle involved in the shooting. He told police it was a green Geo Prism car with a taxi plate but police later found out that the vehicle was a green car with private plate “SCC10102”. He pleaded guilty to the offense of committing a mischievous act and on Friday, August 22, he was fined $200 plus $5 cost of court by Magistrate Hettie Mae Stewart. Augustus is to pay the fine by September 23 or serve two months in prison.

Based on the system being relied upon, in the streets of Belize City in particular, Augustus did nothing wrong. He acted based on standard operating procedure. Under the system, what happens next is a street investigation to find out exactly which car was used, who it belongs to, who was driving and who was shooting. A couple weeks into the investigation, a strike unit would be sent and police would have another case on their hands with no one willing to cooperate. Justice in this system is served almost 100 percent of the time but a case is never closed.