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#496228 - 09/30/14 04:50 AM Strong Complaint Of Abuse Against GSU  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 52,967
Marty Offline
Marty  Offline
Early on Saturday morning a GSU officer on motorbike was knocked down on North Front Street while on duty. That apparently sent the hard charging unit into high alert mode - as they looked for the culprit - reported to be driving a pickup. The led them to pull over Allan McCoy, a mechanic who was leaving MJ's nightclub on West Collet Canal. He first saw an unmarked vehicle pull up - and he thought someone was trying to rob him. But it was the GSU - and he says they later fired shots in the air as he was trying to escape. They eventually forced him to pull over - and he told the media today that's when they put a beating on him. He explained the encounter in detail to us:

Allan McCoy, Claims Police Brutality
"Two of them grabbed me and threw me to the ground and handcuffed me; one of them put his knee in my back, on my shoulder blade and the other one or the same one, slap me on the back of my head and I told them that this is uncalled for because I am not resisting arrest in any way. Anyway, they ask where I was coming. They said, you know what you just did and I said no, please explain to me what you are arresting me for because as far as I am concern I was at MJ's bar and I've been there all night and I have proof and if you want to know just go over there. They took me back to an accident scene. On the ride over there, the two officers; a male and a female, two of the assaulted me several times in the back of the truck. The officer was in the back of the pick-up truck with me all the while, he got back in the truck and he started to punch me in my belly and in my ribcage. He punched me a few times in my head and in my face, but the one that got me upset was the one that punch me in my face. When they finished their first wave of assault they had on me with those officer, several of the GSU's came on the scene one by one and they started to hit me in my face, everyone took their turn. When the second wave started again the same officer who was beating me the first time, he jumped in and started to beat me up again. By this time one of the officer had already punched me in my face and it cut underneath my eyes and swollen up my entire face side. Then the female GSU took out a long rod and started to strike me in my chest like I was a fish - with a metal rod you are striking me in my chest, which really hurts."

"Mark Flowers came on the scene and because I know his face, I know him from Facebook, I said Mr. Flowers, this what you are doing is wrong. I told him come on, I am not a criminal and you guys supposed to know who I am. I told him that I recently worked on a vehicle for you. He said shut, I know it's you, you don't need to tell a lie, we already know it's you, we are watching you. I told him that you guys have the wrong person. I saw him approach me from the back coming at an angle and when he reaches behind me he slaps me in my head. I spun around and I saw that the person who slap me was the only person standing behind me with his hands still in the air was Mark Flowers. So I can tell you all and everybody out there that Mark Flowers condones abuse and violence by the GSU. The female officer even told me while she was assaulting me that I must tell her the truth, tell her that I did it, if not they will kill me. She said that we will kill you if you don't tell us that you did it and I told them if you all want to kill me, go ahead because all you all will be doing is killing an innocent person, I have nothing to do with this. I said you all are accusing me wrongfully. She said that you will die tonight."

"A little after that police officers came on the scene and that is when everything stopped. When the officer came, he ask me if my face was due to the accident. I told no, it is compliments of the GSU, so he ask me why and I explain to him and I told him where I was and ask him if he could please go and verify my story before. So he went over and he verified it, he said I got your story from the owner, from the security that everybody says that you had just left from there. All that confirmed to me that everything for that night was bogus and the GSU acted irresponsible. These guys literally took the law into their own hands, became judge, jury and executioner and at the end of the day it is me that suffers."

"Up to yesterday my whole face was swollen up, probably you could see that it's still swollen. I have some bruises over here. My chest up to yesterday hurts. I can't sleep at night because I have these injuries. I also have an injury in my back; when I lie down on my back it hurts. This is inhumane. This is dictatorship. What you all are doing. What kind of country we are living in? This is a barbaric action. They don't realize that when they go out there and abuse people, that's what they are doing. These people on the streets know about violence and you are bringing back violence - you are not teaching anything new. You are teaching them the same violence that they already knows."

We tried contacting the Commander of the GSU, Inspector Mark Flowers but he did not respond to our requests for comment on the complaint generally and the specific allegation against him.

McCoy has made official complaints to the Ombudsman, and the police professional standards bureau. He says he plans to sue the police department.

Police Accused of Outrageous Abuse

There is another credible complaint of police abuse that came to our newsroom today.

22 year-old Tremane Ciego is furious because he says he was beaten up and robbed by police last night. He was heading home on North Creek; the gas station attendant had his entire week's pay on him after cashing his cheque, and he went to buy food at around 11 o'clock.

He says that when he arrived at the intersection of Central American Boulevard, he was stopped by 2 police officers. What happened next, if true, is outrageous by any standard. He says that one of the officers pulled a gun and brutalized him. He then kicked him into the canal, and after the officers released him with no charge, they stole several hundred dollars from him. While explaining the entire encounter, he was so furious that at times, he could barely talk, but he walked us through the entire ordeal. Here's how he described it:

Tremane Ciego
"He punch me in my face and I fell like this on the ground and he beat up me down here on the street. When I pick up my bike I ask the man where is my money. The man says that he doesn't have any money to give you because you will die right now. The man put me down here on the ground and he stomp me in my chest and that's why my chicken and my juice is right there in the drain. I can show you my chicken and my juice down there; a soft drink and 4 chicken legs - I'll show you. They beat me bad down there for no reason. The officer told me to raise up my hands and I did and I told him that I didn't do anything. It's not like I was fighting against him or something like that. The police mobile came and the sergeant (I don't want to call the sergeant's name) save my life because I already knew that the officer would have shot me right down there. The officer told the sergeant that he will kill me, that I am lucky. After that I went to the station and the officer was still threaten to kill me. He told me that when he meets me out here off duty that he will kill me."

Daniel Ortiz
"How do you know that this man was drunk?"

Tremane Ciego
"You could have seen. As he pointed his firearm he was trembling. I can show you my police record, I don't have a criminal record. I went to buy a six dollars leg and an orange juice and a stout that I was drinking. The officer felt that I was drunk and that's why he searched me and when I told him about my money he told me that he will kill me and then he stomp me in the drain and that's why my chicken and my juice ended up there. I work hard for my money. I go to work every day. I am tired of this. He passed my house every evening and in the morning. He sees me and he knows me. When I ask him for my money he says that he will give me a run. He crack the gun in my head and tells me that I will die."

For the record we note, that the police record he showed us, which he recently got to apply to the BDF as a recruit, shows that he has a clean criminal record.

Ciego has made an official complaint to the professional standards branch, and police sources told us that 2 police officers have been detained.

Channel 7

#496330 - 10/02/14 04:46 AM Re: Strong Complaint Of Abuse Against GSU [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 52,967
Marty Offline
Marty  Offline

Inspector Flowers Investigation Update

All through the newscast, we’ve been telling you about the police brutality allegations being investigated by officers of the Professional Standards Branch.

Well, one allegation which we didn't tell you about was that one against GSU's Commander Mark Flowers, in which Tamra McFoy and her sister reported that he roughed them and a group of children up while on Wilson Street.

As we showed also, Allan McCoy also accused the commander of joining his officers on Saturday in the beatdown when they were accusing him of knocking one of their own officers down in a hit and run.

Well, today, we asked about those two complaints against Flowers, and the OC of the Belize Districts Professional Standards Branch told us that because of Flower’s Inspector Rank, his case will be dealt with by the Public Service Commission, which complicates things;

ASP Glen Rivero - OC, Professional Standard Branch

"This morning, myself and assistant commissioner Leal, who is my commander met. He was furnished with a copy of the investigation so far. As it relates to any senior officer, when it comes to violation of standards, procedures, disciplinary procedures, these matters is dealt with by the services commission. So that is the reason why Mr. Leal came forward this morning, he got a copy of it, the matter will be discussed with the commissioner, so they can see what offences if any Mr. Flowers can be dealt with through that disciplinary body.”

Channel 7

#496364 - 10/03/14 05:10 AM Re: Strong Complaint Of Abuse Against GSU [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 52,967
Marty Offline
Marty  Offline

Barrow Still Defending Insp Flowers, GSU

The media also asked the Prime Minister about the GSU. He has stood up on multiple occasions for its controversial commander, Inspector Mark Flowers. But Flowers ahs also been the target of police complaints - and we asked the Prime Minister to reconcile his high praise with the dim view taken by some in the community:

Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister
"I don't know of those particular circumstances, but I think Mark Flowers, while he is a hard charging police officer, I think also to be a very bright police officer and I find it difficult to understand how he would put himself in circumstances where he could be busted so easily, so I don't know the facts and I therefore will refrain from commenting on whether the allegations have merit but if formal reports have been made then those reports need to be processed, need to be investigated."

Jules Vasquez
"But aren't you creating a sort of dangerous situation that you are giving him some sort of insulation in so far as you have twice endorsed him and said that you all are bolstering the ranks of the GSU…so then."

Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister
"But Mark Flowers isn't the GSU man and while I've said and will continue to say that I think him to be an outstanding police officer; outstanding people do wrong things and if, I don't care who it is, if it turns out that there is merit to the complaints, then the inevitable consequence will have to follow."

Channel 7

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