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14 Year Old Laddie Gillett Killed by Policeman #551586
07/18/21 11:16 AM
07/18/21 11:16 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 74,924
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Cop Shoots 14 Year Old Dead

Tonight, the body of a 14-year-old boy lies in the morgue at the Southern Regional Hospital, and a policeman is in the Placencia village holding cell, accused of fatally shooting the minor on the beach last night.

It is a story that has incensed the entire nation - with howls of discontent and outrage streaming across social media.

Tonight, we have interviews with his adopted relatives, his biological family, and the police.

We start on the Placencia Peninsula where Cherisse Halsall spoke to a family friend, whose home the boys had just left before Laddie was killed. Here is her story:

This is the beach on the Placencia Peninsula where 14-year-old Laddie Gillett was shot dead. The boy and a 19-year-old friend were walking back to their hotel after visiting with an aunt but - a security guard at one of the resorts along the beach believed they were acting suspiciously, he says they were prowling around the property - and he called the police. And that's when things took a turn. We got the breakdown of the tragic event from the Commissioner of police this morning.

Chester Williams - Comissioner Of Police
"Based on that report police responded to the location and upon arrival they encountered two or three young men, they saw them running and in the process of doing so one of the officers fired a single shot and the shot caught one of the individuals who was running. The person who was shot was later identified to be a fourteen year old and he is a resident of Chaa Creek Lodge in Cayo he was taken to the Placencia polyclinic where he was pronounced dead on arrival."

And Laddie's death is one that has an entire nation outraged, with hundreds of people taking to Facebook and Instagram to express their anger behind the hashtag #JusticeforLaddie.

And while strangers are outraged, Laddie and Thomas's friend Lu Nicolait, the woman from whose house they had been returning is incensed. This afternoon she told us that her feelings now are those of profound sorrow.

Lu Nicolait - Family Friend
"Their friends, they just dropped by and we chat. Chat about school or about what's happening or where you been, that sort of thing. How you'd chat with your own little friends . They're on holiday, so they're happy, you know, they're with people they feel comfortable around, they're on the beach in Placencia. And they're with people that you know we all care about each other, they're with happy people so yeah their spirits were good."

This post from another friend in the neighbourhood shows the cake that Laddie, Thomas, and a female friend were sharing on the beach. A final sweet treat that the boy couldn't have known would be his last.

Lu Nicolait
"The last time they, weren't even in the house, the last time I heard, they were by my house was. They came by the door and knocked on the door and my granddaughter answered the door and they just said they were going home."

Cherisse Halsall
"So late last night or early this morning when you heard, you know what was your reaction?"

Lu Nicolait
"Well my reaction is always great sorrow when I hear that really good kids get hurt or damaged in anyway, of course it's heartbreaking. It's heart breaking and so that's my reaction. So it's a devastating loss for all of us I mean my family anyway."

Cherisse Halsall
"Was this a justifiable use of lethal force?"


Chester Williams
"No it was not from what I know so far based on what we have recorded, the shooting would be unjustified, we have a use of force policy and one of our policy is that we are not to shoot at a fleeing suspect, so he was not a suspect and yes he was running but from what we are gathering he was not running from the police, so he cannot be regarded as a fleeing suspect and so, yes the use of force would be unjustified."

Cherisse Halsall
"Sir at the end of the day a child has lost his life and in this case, a child that was associated with a prominent family, Belizean are outraged and their question to you is, is this child's life going to go just like that?"


Chester Williams
"I don't know how else I can say it Cherisse, I am a Belizean and I am outraged too, we all have to be outraged over what happened and I believe I've made it clear just now from what we get this shooting is unjustified and we will do what needs to be done. How else can I put it. I cannot go and kill the police he must be taken through a court process and that is what is going to happen. What we have done so far is that we have recorded statements from the officers involved as well as the watchman and the other young man who was with the deceased. I have directed professional standards branch to conduct both a criminal and a internal investigation in respect to that matter, and the police officer in question is in custody awaiting directives from the director of public prosecutions office."

Laddie's Buddy Says Police Were Menacing, Abusive

And while they await a directive from the DPP, the court of public opinion has already spoken emphatically: those who are speaking out say the use of lethal force was unwarranted and unjustified.

And one of the most authoritative voices on social media is Thomas Palacio, the 19-year-old who was with Laddie when the police descended on them last night.

His account posted on Instagram says, quote:

"I was there, to the last second. Listen to me when I tell you all this was a senseless, senseless, senseless, murder. Senseless isn't the word. The cops and security intercepted us as we were heading back to Chabil Mar resort. The men who caused us to run were dressed in all black and they didn't shout "police, or security" so we took that as a red flag and as someone who wanted to rob or hurt us, so we ran the opposite way. I was instantly hit with a baton on my back and then one shot was fired. Laddie fell instantly.

I fell to my knees when I heard the shot, then I was kicked up, hit several times, and held at gunpoint as these dirty cops stood over me while I was on my back. Laddie was less than 20 feet away from me. Not moving at all. They checked his pulse right there and then and they all agreed that "bwai di man gaan" , "di man get shot bwai" they then returned their focus on me saying "weh we a do with he now" as the gun hovered inches above my face, they then kicked me up again and roughed me up, I asked if Laddie was alright and nobody gave me a direct answer just "shet up lee bwai" and stuff like that.

They had us there for at least 10 minutes. Laddie was left there for 10 minutes. Before they even bothered to start doing anything "right" my memories are scattered, and we are all in shock. But this will be dealt with justly. Laddie was my brother, and I loved that youth very much, always will, see u in heaven little bro." End quote.

Laddie's Guardian Couldn't Believe The News

And what we have surely learned about Laddie today is that he had a large and engaged family network. Today, many of the adults he came in contact with reached out to us directly to say what an outstanding and exemplary young man he was.

His adoptive father Emil Bradley is at the centre of an entire community's loss. About an hour ago, he was in Cayo where he told the press how the family has been coping with the impossible:

Emil Bradley- Father of the Deceased
"I'm still wondering what really happened, at the time I was informed I said what was he doing out at this time, so that ran through my mind and just to hear this incident happened a little after 9:30, they were trying to get back to beat the curfew hours."

Reporter
"The reports that he was shot while they were running but the security guard claims that they were trying break in somewhere that reports tell us and what would you tell us, was Laddie's characteristics anything like that?"

Emil Bradley
"There is no need for him to want to break in for them to want to break in. If the security would have noticed he would have saw them sitting on the beach for a while now, not this trip but other trips, he's always jogging on the beach, he knows the area well, he feels safe. This is where we go to relax in Placencia but they way the dealt with it is so unprofessional, it makes it wonder if they have any empathy for a human being. If this happen at 10:05 like they claimed, Placencia is so small, right there in the hotel, why until 2 o'clock you will come and inform us?"

Reporter
"Were they trying to hide something?"

Emil Bradley
"That is what it would make you feel, I don't want to accuse them in anyway of that, I'm not happy with the situation, whatever we do, we cannot bring back poor little Laddie but all I want for him to accept that he did wrong and at least apologize sincerely to the family, that's all, then we will know he cares. We all make mistakes."

Biological Family Wants Justice

And what does Laddie's biological family think about the charge? Despite not seeing him for ten years, they feel that the charge is a slap in the face to his birth mother. We caught up with them before they left for Dangriga to try and see Laddie's body and they told us that they feel disrespected. They also hope to meet with his adoptive family to iron things out. Courtney Menzies spoke with his uncle and has this story.

Though Laddie Gillett only spent the first couple years of his life in Belize City, the Memorial Park was lit up with candles after persons from all over the city came out to mourn him - some having never met him before.

The vigil was born out of outrage of the news that a cop fatally shot a 14-year-old in Placencia who was on his way home to beat the curfew. That outrage continued this morning when the police department announced that they had arrested and charged the cop for manslaughter - a bailable offense.

His biological family describe the charge as a slap in the face.

Henry "Pulu Musa" Gillett, Uncle
"We just get fih find out this morning they charge the police for manslaughter, I think that's a total disrespect and slap in the face, not only for my nephew and for my sister loss with her son. So this is trying to tell people the police can go around and shoot innocent people in this country, law abiding citizen of this country, at the end of the day, they will get charged for manslaughter. So he get charged for manslaughter this morning, he went to court, he will be offered bail, and he will be out."

"How the people in high society upstairs, not upstairs here at city hall, the ministers, how would they feel if they get a call saying the police murdered their kid sitting eating cake. Manslaughter, before 12 this afternoon the police will be home, what happened to my sister, what happened to the next family that was looking after the young boy?"

And while the family was frustrated by the charge, they were also upset at comments that Laddie's biological mother gave him up for $25,000 in return.

Henry "Pulu Musa" Gillett, Uncle
"You think my sister have $25,000, up to to today my sister not even have a bicycle? $25,000 is a lot for poor people. So I want to know what proof or where they're getting that from, my sister get $25,00 for her son."

"We aren't doing it for money. If the government want give $100 million to my sister and the people who raise the little boy, that can't bring him back, money can't buy life."

And speaking of Laddie's adoptive family, his biological uncle wasn't too happy about the implication that his sister never tried to see her son in Cayo. But he added that they would want to meet with the other family to talk things out.

Henry "Pulu Musa" Gillett, Uncle
"We don't want no fuss, no fight, no problem with anybody, we want reach out to the young man, Emil Bradley, you could reach me on 671-6973 and make we settle this, we heading down to Dangriga right now to the morgue to try and see our loved one that passed away."

Courtney Menzies:
"And do you expect to see them in Dangriga as well?"

Henry "Pulu Musa" Gillett, Uncle
"Well I would wish to get to meet the people in Dangriga make we come together and come to a closure and bury my nephew and make he rest in peace and make we stop this back and forth thing. And the thing that my sister skeptic right now, it bun we yesterday for this person to day that this boy is going to school in Belmopan, my sister explain, people have proof that she would go look for her son. Yes she was in a state when she did that but the agreement was that she would get to see her son. The people, look like they were trying to take him to America, that didn't work out, and even my sister say it, they would have brought him every summer, they would have seen him, and she would call and have contact with her son. This young man, Emil Bradley, we thankful for what he did for the little boy but my sister wants to know how he end up with the little boy."

But for now, the biological family is pushing for protest - and on social media, it seems one is already being organized for Saturday.

Henry "Pulu Musa" Gillett, Uncle
"We will support the protest, I'll be headline leading it, I will try to make the biggest placard or poster, and I will protest. Nobody will stop me from protesting. Because this is unfair. And back to what I said earlier, the police could pass here and see us interviewing and shot one of we."

"We want thanks everybody who are putting their support because the commissioner of police say it on the news, the young boy has no runnings with the law, he's not involved in illegal activity, and even the gentleman that raise him, we have to give him respect too. The young boy, Laddie, my nephew, didn't need to think about breaking into any place or try rob and steal, the young boy was comfortable and we thanks again, my family thanks from the bottom of our heart to Mr. Bradley."

The uncle is also hoping that the cops involved will also be charged for aggravated assault with a firearm after Laddie's friend stated on social media that the officers assaulted him.

A protest is being staged in front of the Raccoon Street Police Station at midday on Saturday.

Channel 7


Re: 14 Year Old Laddie Gillett Killed by Policeman [Re: Marty] #551587
07/18/21 11:17 AM
07/18/21 11:17 AM
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Bail For Killer Corporal

Laddie Gillett's alleged killer, Corporal Kareem Martinez, is out on bail tonight after receiving what has, quite incredibly, become 2021's most controversial charge of Manslaughter - more so even than the Jasmine Hartin - Henry Jemmott case.

Here's what went down at court this morning when I headed to Belmopan's magistrate's court.

This was the moment that Corporal Kareem Martinez, alleged killer of Laddie Gillett exited Belmopan's magistrate court. He's flanked on all sides by his police force brothers as well as a female relative who blocked the media.

And as we attempted to question him. This officer pushed me right into our camera.

Reporter
"Mr. Martinez, you have any remorse?"

And with that, the cops whisked him into this car and away from the court.

And earlier that morning we got Laddie's Guardian, Emil Bradley's, reaction to an extremely controversial charge of manslaughter.

Emil Bradley, Guardian of the deceased
"Killing a soul, taking the life of someone that is right? No no."

"All I can say it's not what I was expecting we asked, we've waited, we wanted justice, I mean manslaughter I don't see it as a charge fittable, I mean his action I mean, from a trained body a disciplined body and your allowed to carry a firearm at least you should have some level of training to know that from the time you pick up a firearm and point it at somebody and you pull the trigger, you could kill someone this is not a toy, you could kill them. So from the time he picked up this gun and aimed after this kid and pulled the trigger, that was the intention. Don't tell me that is not intentional. If he had tripped and then it went off and it shot him that's different, I mean, as you trained justifiable force, where is that. If he had shot from the bottom downwards, you could have said he didn't intend to kill him but just by pulling it all the way in his back, it's unacceptable and these are the things that make people get rawty and get out of hand and do things differently, I'm trying to keep my calm and things together for right now but if it continues on like this, no it won't. From the backgound I would have expect at least murder. I mean let the judge decide, not Miss Cheryl-Lynn, let the judge decide what he deserves - jump to a conclusion right away to manslaughter. And this is what is getting people frustrated in this country, because of your political status or your status in society, you do things and you get away which is wrong, and especially the policeman, so who should we look for if he doesn't feel free again, with our own security forces. You're even afraid to go out into the street as a black kid, you don't even want to go on the street, police just pull you over and shoot you, we don't want Belize to get like that, but it will get to some point if we are not receiving justice. For how long can we do this. This is what we want in Belize, no."

Cherisse Halsall:
"Sir I agree with you that this is a peaceful country but one of the reasons it is is because people don't take sufficient action and there are obvious racial undertones here, if it was two white boys on that beach do you think the police would have been called that quickly."

Emil Bradley, Guardian of the deceased
"I don't know they said they received information from the security guard, I don't know if he would have called the police."

"It's just hard for me the way how it happened and then people don't want to accept responsibility for their actions. All he needs to do is come out say, even if he's not sorry just say sorry to all Laddie's family and friends, say my action wasn't right it wasn't my intention to kill him, and it's done. We can forgive people. To live what that kind of energy it's not something nice against somebody but at least come out and own up to your wrongdoings."

"I don't know if he's sorry and I haven't talked to him, when I'll know if he's sorry or not is when he goes and depends on what he pleas."

And the man who is making the decision on what that plea will be is Attorney Hurl Hamilton. This morning he told the press why he believes that his client is eligible for bail.

Hurl Hamilton, Attorney-At-Law
"No plea was taken as this is an indictable matter or a Supreme Court matter. The police will do their investigation or the police will continue to do their investigation so let the process be. Let's give Kareem Martinez due process."

"These are the charges that were proffered or is the charge that was proffered and we plan to defend it. Let me just say everybody is entitled to due process. Everybody is innocent until proven guilty under the Belize Constitution, let's give the process a chance. The court will decide whether Mr. Martinez is guilty or not guilty, but let us not jump to the conclusion based on what we are hearing or what we've known so far. Give the process a chance, and he will have his day at court and he will answer to this charge."

Cherisse Halsall:
"I know you said you can't really answer that charge for your client but at the same time this man shot a child in his back, should that person now be able to go home and be with his family when that child's family will never have that privilege again?"

Hurl Hamilton, Attorney-At-Law
"Let me, a child, life has been lost, more so a child. Condolences to the family, but we have to be fair as well, we don't know under what circumstances the child has died. The child has died, it is regrettable, condolences to the family, but for us to run to a conclusion, jump to a conclusion and say well he died because of this or he died because of that, all I am saying give the process a chance. We don't know and its regrettable. I cannot over emphasize the point. A life has been lost, it's terrible, but is anybody to blame who to blame, we don't know, the court will decide that and Mr. Martinez will be given an opportunity to properly defend himself when that day comes."

And while no one knows when that day will come. We do know that Martinez's next court date will take place on October 18th in Dangriga's magistrate's court.

Until then Martinez is on the outside where he returns to his community of Seine Bight, and with the whole country incensed over the death of Laddie Gillett, one has to wonder whether this court-issued liberty will bring Martinez, now poised to become a public pariah, any freedom of all.

Martinez was arraigned for one count of manslaughter in the sum of $8,000. His next court date is October 18th.

Martinez has been placed on interdiction.

Channel 7


Re: 14 Year Old Laddie Gillett Killed by Policeman [Re: Marty] #551614
07/20/21 04:47 AM
07/20/21 04:47 AM
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Attorney on Manslaughter Charge in Laddie Gillett Shooting

As protests continue in person and on social media following the shooting death Laddie Gillett, News Five sought legal opinion on the manslaughter charge against the alleged shooter, police corporal Kareem Martinez.  Here is what Attorney Darrell Bradley told us.

Darrell Bradley, Attorney-at-law

“Justice does not mean that we are rash in going to judgment. We have to let the investigative process unfold and we have to see where that investigation lies and what will be the result of that. I have said earlier that Belize is a country of laws so that something very tragic has occurred. Police has taken steps. The officer, I believe, has been put on interdiction and he has been criminally charged. The charge is manslaughter. I know that many persons may not be satisfied with that particular charge. But, I suspect that charge may have been arrived at based on all the circumstances. One of the things that the public has to appreciate is that police officers are authorized to use force. And, they are authorized to use lethal force in certain circumstances. Of course, it has to be reasonable, it cannot be excessive and it has to comport with principles of the rule of law. All exercise of public authority, including those of the police has to be scrutinized. But, a police officer is discharging their functions according to law, and is carrying out something that is lawfully provided for. Clearly, in the circumstances when somebody is losing their lives, again, I am not very intimate in terms of the circumstances of the particular case, but if you are shooting somebody in their back that tells a story as to the position of the individuals. I don’t want to second guess the police or the office of Director of Public Prosecution in relation to why the charge was manslaughter. But, I do suspect it had to do with the circumstances of the particular case. This would have happened in the night time or early morning hours in the cloud of darkness. Police officer would have had to make a split second judgment; unfortunately I believe that judgment was wrong. But, in the circumstances of it, it is not a situation where you have a cold blooded murder.”

Channel 5


Re: 14 Year Old Laddie Gillett Killed by Policeman [Re: Marty] #551643
07/21/21 04:58 AM
07/21/21 04:58 AM
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Protests for Laddie Continue: ComPol Says Manslaughter is Strongest Charge Possible

Across the nation, protestors are calling for the police officer who was allegedly behind the shooting death of fourteen-year-old Laddie Gillett to be jailed and charged with murder.  Every night, for the past five days, there have been protests and candle vigils for the slain teen. Tonight, News Five’s Paul Lopez takes a look at those cries for justice and why the Commissioner of Police says that a manslaughter charge is actually the strongest charge that can be leveled against the accused officer.

Paul Lopez, Reporting

In Placencia village on Sunday night, angry protestors called for Corporal Kareem Martinez to be jailed, referring to the shooting death of Laddie Gillett as murder. This view is being shared by many people across the nation, as protests continue in other parts of the country.

Earlyn “Stig” Hutchinson, Relative of Deceased

“It is what it is, that dah murda eena my opinion and he have to pay the penalty mein.”

Santie Valencia, Football Coach

“What is this, with manslaughter by negligence? This child was shot in the back! This child was shot in the back.”

On his latest podcast episode, Brent’s Two Cent’s, Brent Toombs tackled the issue of Justice for Laddie in a system he says enables and protects bad cops.

Brent Toombs, Brent’s Two Cents

“Maybe if there had been justice for Allison Major Jr. two years ago, we wouldn’t be crying for justice for Laddie Gillett today. Maybe if the cop who shot Steven Bucklee in the face had been tried for his action instead of getting promoted, other offices might hesitate to shoot first and ask questions later. Maybe if those two animals who tortured and beat an eighteen year old to death while in police custody had received more than a slap on the wrist, maybe we would have fewer candle light vigils and maybe we would have just a little bit more respect for law enforcement in Belize.”

Thomas Palacio, Friend of Laddie Gillett

“I would like to believe that this is the start of something great. And, Manslaughter is not what he will be charged with. He has to be charged with murder bro. He murdered Laddie.”

Emil Bradley, Legal Guardian of Deceased

“From the time he pick up this gun and aim at this kid and pull this trigger, I mean, that was intentional. Don’t tell me that is not intentional.”

But, this morning, Commissioner of Police Chester Williams told the host of Open Your Eyes Morning Show that from his professional perspective, manslaughter is the strongest charge that could have been levied against Corporal Martinez by the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police

“The truth is the young man ought not to have been killed. The police officer ought not to have pulled a weapon. But it happened; we have to deal with the consequences of it now. How can we say this officer came on duty at four p.m. that evening with the intent to kill Laddie? How could we arrive at that?”

Commissioner Williams says he supports the ongoing protests, as long as they remain peaceful.

Chester Williams

“Let me state categorically that we support the protest. We only ask that the protest be done in a peaceful manner. And, those who may have some criminal intent may not use the opportunity of protest to go and commit whatever act they intend to commit, particularly against police officers.”

There have been no reports of violent acts during any of the demonstrations over the last five days. People will continue to come out across the country tonight, including in the community where Laddie Gillett was raised in the Cayo District by his adoptive aunt.

Sharon Meighan, Aunt of Deceased

“I feel like the higher authority, they could have done things differently so that the charge could not have been simply manslaughter which is the lowest in criminal charge. And, I feel like they are the ones who failed us miserably.”

Channel 5


Report from Brent Toombs, Brent’s Two Cents


Re: 14 Year Old Laddie Gillett Killed by Policeman [Re: Marty] #551668
07/22/21 04:52 AM
07/22/21 04:52 AM
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Special Envoy: There Must Be Consequences For Laddie's Death

By now you're very well acquainted with the face and the name Laddie Gillette, the 14-year-old boy who was tragically gunned down on a Placencia beach.

It's a story that's pulled at every Belizeans heartstring with no one left unaffected. And among those deeply touched by the young man's story is Belize's Special envoy Rossana Briceno.

And this morning speaking with emotion and candor she told the hosts of SunUp on 7 about her experience with Laddie's story.

Rossana Briceno, Special Envoy for Families and Children
"As a mother, a 14 year old, my son is 17, my baby is 17 and he has a life ahead of him, he attended the protest in Orange Walk and when I got home he had on his black shirt, his black T-shirt with a red spray paint on his back. The shooting in the back and I said to him how do you feel? And he says I am not sure how I feel."

"I didn't know that he was going to the protest, I came home and He was in his back shirt and all of that but as a mother it affects you knowing that a 14 year old child was shot unjustifiably unreasonably, using unwarranted force, and this child because he's a child was no threat to that police officer. I am not here to condemn police, I am not here to condemn anybody but as a citizen of Belize, as a mother, and as Special Envoy, because my office is an office for advocacy. I totally agree that training is important, it's a must. Speaking to different police officers I found out that they get basic training for six months and then they're thrown into the field. I believe that after two years or even a year they need refreshers. They have policies, they have duties listed out for them but are they aware of these things?"

"I think that's the part that kills everybody. These young people were running away, they saw two people in black they're on the beach. They know it's curfew time they need to go home. People show up, they look intimidating, they look threatening. They don't identify themselves, human instinct would tell you to run, I would have run, sorry two people all in black in the dark, what if we sit down there and wait to see what would happen. No, you will run but I feel that whatever that police was thinking obviously he wasn't thinking straight. There were a lot of emotions going on and as an experienced police officer, I don't know how much experience he has but you know that your training tells you that the last thing you do is to shoot a gun. They're running away, that child is no threat to you so yes, I agree that there has to be justice, people need to know that the police officers are there to protect us not to harm us."

"They are supposed to be protecting us but we are afraid of them. Everywhere you go, the police are there, it has nothing to do with the police, you don't trust them. That trust level has gone and now with these cases that are happening. The murder cases have escalated and the situations now with the police it's like every week we have to be sending out a release from the offices from the NCFC, the human development, women's commission, my office. If we continue this way every week we have to send a release sympathizing sending condolences to families to women to parents. We have become a violent community, a violent country, we don't want to go to court anymore and talk, we do our own, take justice into our own hands. What, where will that lead us like a rogue country and we can't behave like that. So, I think for these to be fixed, or to improve our situation, the police definitely, I definitely feel that the commissioner has to do a criminal and an internal investigation especially in this situation."

"I think the police need to be held accountable. And if this police did something wrong then he needs to be held accountable and whatever consequences, he needs to get those consequences. I'm not going to mince my words here, It's wrong. A child is dead at the hands of a police officer, it's wrong."

Channel 7


Re: 14 Year Old Laddie Gillett Killed by Policeman [Re: Marty] #551713
07/25/21 06:25 AM
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Laddie Laid to Rest

In the 9 days since 14 year old Laddie Gillett was killed by a policeman's bullett in Placencia - his name and the sad circumstances of his death have inspired a movement for police reform and triggered a society-wide cry for justice - not just for him - but for all innocent persons killed by reckless lawmen.

And while those calls for justice have created a clamour and space in the public discourse - today it all seemed moot, because the sombreness of Laddie's funeral punctuated the protest with the non negotiable reality that there can be no justice for Laddie - maybe for his family, and the community - but not for the vibrant and promising young man who, tonight, is interred in a vault on the Chaa Creek Estate, simply because someone thought this young boy on the beach was a criminal - just because he was black.

Today, that private funeral service was held at Chaa Creek Estate - and courtesy of funeral Directors Live Events and Designs - and here are a few or the words said in remembrance:

Lucy Fleming, Laddie's Grandmother
"I really would like to thank the nation of Belize, we've been here for 44 years and I can truly say that this outpouring of love and affection that we have for this little boy, I don't think we would find that in any other country in the world, so I thank you all, each and every one of you and I know that we will keep Laddie's memory alive and he lives within us."

Thomas Palacio, Laddie's Close Friend
"Laddie was greater than life. I see it now. The man had a power, a vibe, a feeling you can't really describe unless you knew him. You felt safe around Laddie, you felt love, you felt valued and you feel appreciated. Laddie is our guardian angel now for sure. I am writing this from Laddie's bedroom and next to me at the time I have Keshaun and Albert, we were reminiscing Laddie and all we could do is laugh and smile. Imagine, even after leaving us, he still makes us smile. I tell everyone that Laddie's last word to me was laughter. We were laughing and smiling. That old dog always barked at us whenever we would pass that area and we always laugh and 5 seconds later he was gone. It comforts me to know he felt no pain, it comforts me to know he is in the starts, it comforts me to know he lived his best life and it's an honor to have been with you to the end. Thank you to the entire country of Belize and beyond for supporting us in this demand for justice for our child our champion our warrior, our friend, Laddie Gillett."

Henry Gillett, Biological Uncle
"Thanks, Mr. Bradley, for having us get together and figure what will happen and do it peacefully and its rough. We came all the way from Belize City and we appreciate being here and I just want to thank Mr. Kareem Musa, the Commissioner of Police and like what everybody says let's seek justice."

As you saw, Laddie's biological family was included in the ceremony and his biological mother got to lay a wreath as well as the Minister of Home Affairs.

Channel 7


Stig Da Artist's tribute to Laddie Gillett.



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