Damning Accusation Against the Officer in Charge of Placencia Police
In November of last year, the Second in Command at the Placencia Sub-Formation, Julio Shal, became subject of public scrutiny, when he was charged with the murder of Tyson Rodriguez, an assault suspect who was being held for questioning at the time of his death.
Tonight, the Senior Officer in Command at the station, Inspector Mark Flowers has too found himself in the middle of a damning accusation of abuse of power.
Flowers is being accused of verbally assaulting a uniformed police constable attached to the Tourism Police Unit and thereafter throwing him in a holding cell – all over a punctured bicycle. The matter, as we understand it, is currently being investigated by the PSB in Belmopan.
This afternoon, we secured an interview with officer Mejia, but when we spoke with him again later in the day, he expressed his wish to withdraw from a recorded interview, in fear of victimization. He said however, that if he does not get the administrative satisfaction that he is seeking, he will take a legal course. A mere difference in opinion, says Mejia, escalated and landed him in a cell.
This is what Mejia alleges: that sometime last week, he was preparing to go on a bike patrol and noticed that the bike was in poor condition. Nevertheless, he proceeded with his duties.
While riding, he says that a portion of the wheel broke, puncturing the tire. He returned to the station and says he wasn’t able to make an entry about the damaged bike, though he intended to. A few days, Inspector Flowers reportedly approached him and told him and instructed him to pay for the bike to be repaired.
Mejia affirms that he was going to repair the cycle, when he got the money, but that Flowers wouldn’t compromise. That’s when he claims Flowers grabbed and threw him in the cell. We were told by a source that senior personnel at the Police Department, as well as the Tourism Police instructed that Mejia be released and so he was. Inspector Flowers however, has a very different recollection of what occurred. He says that Mejia was never placed in the holding cell. And that he suspects that the damage to the bicycle was intentional. He says that Mejia is to required to repair the bicycle or he can be charged for damage to property.
We have obtained what appears to be a copy of an entry in the detention journal, signed by Officer in Command Inspector Mark, that shows that PC Mejia was detained, as he says he was. As we said, Flowers has gone on record to say that Mejia was not detained in the cell.