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Will Laddie Get Justice? #561490
01/28/23 06:24 AM
01/28/23 06:24 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
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Justice for Laddie! That's been the battle cry of the youth movements that rose up in the wake of the killing of Laddie Gillett. Laddie is the fourteen year old boy who became a martyr for police brutality when he was allegedly shot in the back on a beach in Placencia by Corporal Akeem Martinez in July of 2021.

And this morning as Martinez's trial began, Laddie Gillett's best friend Thomas Palacio, who was with Laddie when he died, was the trial's first witness.

He was examined and cross examined by the prosecution and defense but held strong to the story he's told for the last two years, that Laddie was killed by an officer in what they thought was an attack by criminals.

I traveled to Dangriga for the proceedings.

Corporal Kareem Martinez's trial in the Manslaughter of Laddie Gillett started in earnest this morning in Dangriga town. And no sooner had it started did the cops demonstrate that this is no ordinary trial, it's one where the cops expect a volatile environment.

But there's also Laddie's two families, the foster family who've built a foundation in his name.

And the biological mother who came to court to find out the fate of her son's alleged killer.

On a break from proceedings this morning we asked the Bradley-Fleming's for their initial reactions to what was happening inside the court.

Emil Bradley, Laddie's Foster Dad
"Well, at this point in time it's a big relief to know that it started after for such a long time.So far it's going good so far. We cannot say at this point in time if it will really favor us, I mean it's too young to say. It's too early to say but we will just wait for the outcome and see what happens."

But this morning biggest surprise was the appearance in court of attorney Richard "Dickie" Bradley. And no, he's not the defense attorney, he was instead hired by Laddie's foster family to review the case and advise the prosecution.

Lucy Fleming, Laddie's Foster Grandmother
"Well, I think he will be a guide actually for the attorney and for ourselves, he's you know, he is very experienced, and he's very wise, so we just we know him, we've know him with Richard Foster he assisted us with that case and so he actually said you know look I'm prepared to help you and he came to us and did offer his assistance to us and we agreed that he would be the best possible person to have on our side at this point in time so we are appreciative of him."

Also in court the accused Kareem Martinez plead not guilty to the charge of Manslaughter. Laddie's foster dad said he didn't expect anything less.

Emil Bradley, Laddie's Foster Dad
"Well, I was expecting it. I mean first of all like I said I mean if he had really cared about what he did, or if he was sorry about what he did he would have contacted the family by some means, his uncle did it. There were ways how he could have contacted us and at least said that he was sorry or something like that but so far nothing and then to come back and to plead not guilty it makes me think that you are not sorry of what you did, you are not sorry for what you did your actions I mean, so yeah let's just hope it favors us in the end."

That perception was only reinforced today but began in the early stages of the department's proceedings against Martinez.

Lucy Fleming, Laddie's Foster Grandmother
"So if he pleaded against his dismissal way back then when he was only on interdiction and we were saying why is he still walking around being paid and then he was actually told no, that's it you are now being let go. He decided to take that to court as well."

And today, on the first day of the long awaited trial we the public are forced to ask ourselves, what does Justice for Laddie really mean?

As far as the foundation is concerned, one thing it doesn't mean is a lesser charge for a fine.

Lucy Fleming, Laddie's Foster Grandmother
"That was what we wouldn't be surprised if we hear for a lesser plea bargain and that would not really be justice as far as we are concerned, that he can walk away with just a fine having been free these 18 months while Laddie lies cold in his grave. So, really the end of the day we would like to see him at least do some jail time, at least be tried and convicted for manslaughter that is our hope."

But despite that hope proceedings inside the court had already began to be concerning this morning as the defense questioned witnesses about the dark and windy whether on the night that Laddie was killed.

Emil Bradley, Laddie's Foster Dad
"Well, I wouldn't want to say early at this time but yes there are concerning questions that his attorney Mr. Selgado has brought up. I know exactly where he is trying to head and little things like these, these little technicalities are things that cause them to get off so I am a bit worried like I said, I see where he is going. It's young but I see what he is trying to get at. It's so hard so we just have to wait until the end."

"Sometimes you expect a conviction and when you see he walks off free, I hope that this is not the case, with Laddie's case because like I said after the trial, that will determine where we stand and the action we will take because like I said we want justice and a lesser charge to manslaughter we will not settle for it."

Paramilitary Presence Outside Court; Have Police Learnt Anything?

And in between court sessions this morning we asked Laddie's foster family what they thought of all the police activity that descended upon the court this morning.

It was notable because the victim was an innocent 14 year old boy, while the alleged perpetrator was a 27 year old Corporal. And today, the presence of more armed police - while it may have been necessary - seemed to some to hit an off note. After all, it's not just Martinez on trial, but an entire mode of policing young black men that led to this fatal shooting.

Here's what the family told us about the heavy police presence:

Emil Bradley, Laddie's Foster Dad
"Well, you know we are people, we don't believe in violence, we are trying to settle this as peaceful as possible but they know what they did and they know why they are expecting what they are expecting why they come out in such numbers but we, at this point in time. We noh den pain dat. We no den fi give trouble right now, men ah say it ina Kriol we noh di give trouble right now we just want to listen and allow the justice to take it's course."

Lucy Fleming, Laddie's Foster Grandmother
"We had called for, if there were going to be any demonstrations today, we put out a media release calling for peace because after all we've come here through violence. We are here because of violence. It's the last thing we want, I was quite shocked to tell you the truth I thought oh my goodness. Here is someone who took down a fourteen year old boy being protected by big police men with armaments, it did seem quite unfair to me, you know in the grand scheme of things."

Martinez's trial began today and resumes Monday. It is expected to continue up until Friday of next week.

Channel 7

Re: Will Laddie Get Justice? [Re: Marty] #561519
01/31/23 06:37 AM
01/31/23 06:37 AM
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Police Testify On Day 3 Of Laddie Trial

The trial of Kareem Martinez for Manslaughter of Laddie Gillett was back in court today.

That's after a virtual Saturday court date that saw various written statements read. But today in court it was all about the testimony of the responding officer PC Martinez, who judge Antoinette Moore cautioned in court for his indiscipline, and who didn't seem sure whether the boys were running toward him or away from him on the night in question.

Also on the stand was PC Pok, another of the officers who responded to the scene. But there were discrepancies about the timeline because while the men both claimed that they arrived at Placencia Beach at 10:30 pm, the testimony of the doctor, which will be heard tomorrow indicates that Laddie Gillett had already been declared dead by 10:21 PM.

Cherisse Halsall was in Dangriga's Supreme Court today and sends back this report.

There were three witnesses called to the stand today PC Miranda, PC Pok, and Corporal Fermin Choco.

The first two were responding officers to the Placencia beach club on July 14, 2021. The third is the man who sealed Kareem Martinez's police issued gun into evidence.

They were examined and cross examined about the sequence of events leading to Laddie Gillett's death as well as their involvement in the killing.

For his part PC Pok claimed that officers are allowed to use their firearms in quote "intense" situations

The final witness was procedural as Corporal Cho was questioned about the process of sealing the weapon that killed Laddie Gillett and who witnessed it.

Judge Antionette Moore has indicated that she and her courtroom will visit the scene of Laddie Gillett's death in Placencia village on Monday morning. She hopes that in so doing she can get a far better sense of the direction in which the boys were running and what happened.

The trial against Kareem Martinez for Manslaughter continues in Dangriga's Supreme Court tomorrow at 9:00 AM.

Laddie's Foster Father Claims Cops Confused On Stand

Earlier in the news, we gave you the highlites of the manslaughter trial currently ongoing in Dangriga's Supreme court.

Well, we caught up with Laddie Gillett's foster dad Emil Bradley in the moments after he exited the court this evening.

Bradley expressed his extreme displeasure saying that not only are the officers who accompanied Kareem Martinez incompetent at their jobs, but according to him they also spent the afternoon making misrepresentations on the stand.

Here's more.

Emil Bradley, Laddie's Foster Dad
"I mean it just make me realize why the conviction rate is so low, how they weren't prepared for this case. I can't understand how these 2 police officers who testified earlier - like it's a dog that has been shot. Even a dog, you love your dog, you will look after your dog. You would try do something. I mean they just watch, didn't make any effort to say let us do a CPR or check his pulse or see anything like that."

"I am not happy with these 2 police officers and this is what we are talking about when we say we need more training for police officers. When Mr. Williams listened to these testimonies that these officers give, I know he will be ashamed of them and ask himself are they worthy of being a police officer, a special constable, a tourism police - whatever it is? Come on, we have to do better than this. It's not only this we have, we have a bigger problem that what we are actually seeing. It's not only the case with Laddie, but we have a bigger problem in our department and this is the reason why our conviction rate is so low, because we fail to prepare."

"We just await to see how this goes. All I will say I am not happy with the lies that they tell. Like they have no regards for a life that was lost. If it was their parents or their brother or sister, would have they done the same thing or would have they told the truth. That's all I have to say."

Channel 7

Re: Will Laddie Get Justice? [Re: Marty] #561528
02/01/23 05:54 AM
02/01/23 05:54 AM
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Laddie Gillett, The Trial Continues

Tonight, the news from Dangriga and the trial against Kareem Martinez for the manslaughter of Laddie Gillett is that in the days following the incident, Martinez admitted to firing his weapon on that fateful night.

Now, that doesn't conclude the trial and it isn't automatic justice for the families of Laddie Gillet.

Still, it's a major move toward the Justice that many in the country have cried out for since the tragic incident.

Cherisse Halsall was back in Dangriga today and tonight she brings us the highlights of one of the most important trials of the year.

The trial against Kareem Martinez for the manslaughter of Laddie Gillett continued today with 4 witnesses called but perhaps the most important of those was Sargent Holly Vasquez, the man who took Kareem Martinez's statement.

The notes of that statement are tantamount to a confession because Martinez says he fired his weapon into the air, six seconds before Laddie Gillett screamed out in pain.

He also testified to the fact that while Martinez says the boys were acting suspiciously, an officer is not allowed to detain someone on general suspicion alone. Only Reasonable suspicion could have sufficed.

A Return To Laddie’s Beach

And indeed by this evening, the prosecution had taken yet another leap ahead, once the interview notes of Kareem Martinez's caution were read out in court.

As we told you earlier in the news, the officer admitted to firing a warning shot, the question now is how that shot which he claims was fired in the air, ended up in Laddie Gillett's back.

Justice Moore has decided to take the parties to the scene of the crime. In doing so she hopes to get a comprehensive understanding of the position and trajectories that the boys and the officers took on the night in question.

But that return to the beach where Laddie was killed has emotional implications for many who are still struggling to heal from his tragic death. This afternoon we asked the family and the attorney supervising the prosecution what that return will mean, for everyone involved.

Emil Bradley, Laddie's Foster Dad
"Going back to that site, I mean it's something good certainly Ms. Moore she will get a great picture of what happened, I mean they stated earlier in the testimony, oh about 300feet, man look here 300 feet the space that is there isn't even 300ft so you know my whole thing is why lie, just say I fired a shot but it was a warning shot but it didn't go in the air and it hit, or whatever but just say you fired a shot, these are the things that hurt. They don't care about a life."

Cherisse Halsall:
"Tomorrow, the judge goes to the scene, what in your opinion is the most important thing she needs to see at that scene?"

Dickie Bradley, Attorney-At-Law
"I think for a trial judge with her experience she would want to get it absolutely clear where Laddie and his friend were, which bush at some use of the word alley, for want of a better term, where Laddie fell on the ground and never moved and where the officers would have been in terms of one was chasing the other young man and another was chasing Laddie when he heard a loud bang which to him sounded like a gunshot and for some reason he didn't even try to find out where the gunshot came from - side of you, back of you - suppose they were shooting at you? He said he never tried finding out. But the next breath he says the accused person was right at his side and they're just there looking at this child on the ground. It's a question when you look at the picture if you go to the scene, it will make it 100% clearer and both the defence attorney and the prosecutor are in full agreement that lets go to the scene. After that the prosecution will close its case tomorrow and then the defence will have a chance to present their side."

Lucy Fleming, Laddie's Foster Grandmother
"What really hurt me the most was just to think that they left Laddie right there I mean I had the hope that he had died instantly, it's a strange hope to have but in any even that no one bent down, kneeled down to him, took his pulse, held his hand, anything if there was any movement whatsoever I just found that so inhumane and that's what, that's what hurts me more than anything else."

"We created a new space, we wanted to change the energy, we always cry, the whole village was crying. We would all cry together and now it really is a very nice as you've seen, it's a nice space the children go and play there. So, energy can be changed but memories can't be."

Tomorrow's session commences at 9:00 AM and is expected to conclude shortly after the judge's trip to Placencia. Corporal Martinez's defense is being handled by attorney Oscar Selgado.

Laddie, From Majestic Alley Birth To A Childhood At Chaa Creek

And turning back now to the story of the boy who became a martyr for police brutality.

Laddie Gillett came into the national consciousness when he was killed on a beach in Placencia village. But long before that tragic night Laddie, had already led an unlikely life moving through sheer circumstance from the concrete jungle of Majestic Alley to the rural western Belize with a family which was able to give him the best of everything.

But who did Laddie really belong to? His biological mother Linda Gillett has, for many months, claimed that custody of the fourteen-year-old remained with her, even if she had no idea where he was.

And, for their part, Laddie's foster family doesn't dispute that while they loved and cared for him, they never had legal custody.

Tonight we take a look at Laddie's story, from his first years waiting to be adopted, to the son and brother he became in Emil Bradley's household. Cherisse Halsall reports.

By now, the entire country knows the story of Laddie Gillett's death, the four-year-old boy who was allegedly shot by police while on vacation with his foster family in Placencia.

But as a foster child, Laddie had a deeper history. He was the son of Majestic Alley resident, Linda Gillett. Back then she told us that she hadn't seen Laddie since he was 3 years old but that it wasn't for a lack of trying. She claims that her son had been kept from her.

Linda Gillett, Biological mother
"In a dead box, now I have to see my son, when we are claiming and find out ah the was with, nobody want claim ah. Why did they wait until he is dead now to get in contact with me when I was going around trying hard to get in contact with my son. Why now, they want wait now for when my son dead."

But How did Linda Gillet Even Come to give Laddie up? She says two women from the alley arranged to get Laddie adopted by a family in the U.S.

Linda Gillette "I gave Laddie up because I wanted a better life for him. No, I didn't sign nothing to hand no child to Desiree, it was a verbal talking."

Talking that Linda Gillett says hinged on giving her child a shot at what a life in the U.S. could offer. But everything changed when, according to the Bradley-Fleming's, the man who was supposed to adopt Laddie, another Laddie, this one Laddie Bryson, a relative of the family who ultimately ended up raising him, was forced to halt the adoption process due to a number of traffic violations. That's where Emil Bradley's grandmother ---- came into Laddie's story.

Emil Bradley, Laddie's Foster Dad
"The family member contacted my grandma and asked her if she could look after Laddie for the meanwhile until all these, the process, the adoption process came through with her in the U.S. for Laddie to go. Well, that did't work out. We've lost communication with the person so my grandmother was the one who took up full responsibility. After that I was involved in his life from the beginning."

"We have pictures with Laddie when he celebrate his first, his third birthday with us being around us and from that time, we were involved in Laddie's life."

"Well, you couldn't get between grandma and Ladie, you know, I mean what Laddie was her little boy, I mean it was so close. I could recall."

"I could remember the suffering my grandmother went through because that night she used to suffer from cramps in her legs. So, Laddie was close by, he was most of the time he would be the one there assisting her because he was close by and my other cousins they are in thier houses in the yard in the family yard and that is how they developed a close bond."

And up until Laddie was three, his Biological Mom Linda was allowed to visit but that all changed when

Laddie's guardian was informed that Linda, who had never legally relinquished custody, was trying to take the boy back, to come to her house and kidnap the then 3 year old boy and take him back to Majestic Alley, somewhere she believed he'd be made to suffer.

Emil Bradley, Laddie's Foster Dad
"So when she came back my grandmother told her don't. Come back. You know don't come back, don't visit him."

Linda Gillett
"After that they started hiding him from me."

And just like that Gillett claims to have been dispossessed of a son that she had given away, yes.

But under very different circumstances.

Linda Gillette
"This it's not right for you to be hiding my child from me because this is my child and the agreement was that I could come and visit my son until this thing goes through, alright, so after that, that was it I went home, visited, went home and the other time when I went and visited that is when they told me that my son wasn't here, he went, so I asked, how can he go without me signing nothing or mr giving permission, or even signing his social, birth paper, or for his passport. I still decided and I said you know what I won't give up. I'm still going back."

Cherisse Halsall:
"At this time did you have it in your head to say well, you know the adoption fell through, let me get my child back?"

Linda Gillette "Yes, I told them that, I told them I didn't sign any papers and I haven't done that. If those people that had my son are doubting my concern. People just can't look at you and judge you not just because I come from the ghetto, that means I am not nice, that is not true."

Cherisse Halsall:
"Being that you never signed anything, do you feel as his biological mother that if there is any compensation for his death, the it is owed not to the foster family but to you?"

Linda Gillette
"Yes, it is it has to be owed to me because he was not adopted, all these years he was still rightfully my child, dead or alive he is still my child, dead or alive he is still my child and I am the one who is in pain her, I am the victim here, nobody else but me. That's my belly pain, nobody knows how I feel. Nobody apologized to me about what they have done to me, nobody has done anything but disrespect me after when they were done. I AM IN PAIN and I will be in pain until I'm dead too."

But how does Emil Bradley and his wife come into the complex tale?

Emil Bradley, Laddie's Foster Dad
"And after my grandmother had passed away then it was only right, we were the ones in the position to look after Laddie. We knew Linda was his mom, Imean we wouldn't deny for her to see Laddie, I mean we aren't like that."

"At one point we were trying to go through the legal documents with the process with the papers going through the social, social services and all of that to do the right thing but it takes a lot of process and we get busy and you know, we would have never thought that something like this would have happened where we would have to thing with Ms. Linda."

But very tragically Laddie died and once he was dead and a police man was alleged to be at fault questions arose as to which one of these families would be entitled to the compensation that the government of Belize may owe.

We asked Emil Bradley about Linda Gillett's opinion that that money is owed to her.

Emil Bradley, Laddie's Foster Dad
"Part of it I agree with with legally yes she is his mother and we are not denying that from her, yes she is the biological mother but the entitlement for Laddie, we are not even putting a price on Laddie to that sense in even wanting to make a claim for his life, we are seeing something different. If she within her heart thinks that she deserves that knowing that she was not involved in Laddie's life the way she should have been as a mother who cares that is fine. I will not go against her. Let somebody else decide. Let her conscience be her guide and obviously she does not have one from the time she wanting to do this she is suing the government and I mean knowing that legally I would say that she is entitled as the mother because we don't have any paper to show that yes Laddie is ours but we have papers to show that we paid school fees and everything for Laddie supporting him, but legally to have custody, no we don't have."

"Yes, legally she is the mother, but was she playing the role of a mother? That would be the question. She wasn't you know."

"There are many ways how she, like I said she was in communication with the family. If she really wanted Laddie and we really worked it out for her to have Laddie, so I don't know what to say, all my mind is on right now we are just focusing on for the trial and to let it be over with and then after that we will do something else. If she wants to go ahead as the mother and sue the government that is fine."

Linda Gillett has indicated that she will pursue a wrongful death suit for her son.

Channel 7

Re: Will Laddie Get Justice? [Re: Marty] #561546
02/02/23 06:15 AM
02/02/23 06:15 AM
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Trial For Manslaughter, Day 5

Today was day 5 in the trial against Corporal Kareem Martinez for the manslaughter of 14-year-old Laddie Gillett.

This morning another police officer, this time the driver of the police mobile which responded to the shooting on the night of July 14, 2021, PC Augustine, testified about his role in the detention of Thomas Palacio. After that, the courtroom party set off down the Southern Highway to the scene of the crime.

Our 7News Cameras weren't allowed to film the fully robed Justice and attorneys in their deliberations and observations on the beach, since it was part of the proceedings, and very much under courtroom rules - which disallow cameras.

Still Cherisse Halsall remained within earshot and tonight she's sent us back this report from Placencia beach:

This pristine stretch of Placencia's beach became a courtroom today as Justice Antoinette Moore travelled to the exact location where Laddie Gillett was killed.

The judge was here to ascertain several factors pertinent to the alleged manslaughter, which included: the distance to the Chabil Mar resort; the positioning of the so-called alley that Laddie and Thomas walked down, the location of the empty shell casing, and the distance from the beach club's parking lot to the scene of the crime.

And with the way the wind was blowing today there may have been a consideration, as to whether Laddie and Thomas heard the Command, "Stop! police!", if and when it was uttered.

Court In Session On The Beach

And while Cherisse was within earshot, Laddie's guardian Emil Bradley - was up close as a part of the beachfront "locus" session today. And, after seeing what the judge saw, he said the physical evidence on the ground only strengthens the family's position that the responding officers acted indiscriminately and with reckless disregard for Laddie's life:

Emil Bradley, Laddie's Foster Dad
"Well its a little bit difficult sitting on the bench reminiscing the times that we used to have here when we come down here together and play in the sea. It's hard, but I'm glad that she came down, because on picture it's so different, it makes a huge difference being on the actual ground than seeing it on pictures. She got a clear view how close it was the distance and the bushes that they were claiming that there was bushes - there is no bushes for them to show, because there wasn't any bushes."

"So what this does is make her case stronger and it gives me more hope."

"What have you been able to hear and observe about the line of the judge's questioning as she is here on the scene?"

Emil Bradley, Laddie's Foster Dad
"The reason for that is the distance with the breeze. One of them testified and said "stop, police." So with this type of wind, if you're running and this wind how would you hear "stop, police?"

"We saw that they even measured the distance from where the slug was found to where Laddie fell after he was shot. It's a good distance away for a shot that was fired in the air."

Emil Bradley, Laddie's Foster Dad
"Laddie is about 5'6" the most. At that distance the further you are the higher the bullet will be going okay, it's just common sense, but they might say da fool di talk, but da noh fool di listen all the time and these are the things that as a family it hurts you to see the lies, they are telling. Being on this spot I wonder how they feel in their hearts knowing the lies that they are telling. Look at the distance."

"In the testimonies we heard that Laddie and Thomas they were behind the building or beside the building for the beach club - all of that and I'm not seeing it."

Emil Bradley, Laddie's Foster Dad
"You answered it right there, the man was lying. How is it possible. they were there and he was there and what he is claiming, oh they come on the compound. Anybody who is coming - mek I go in dis yard, mek I go on the outside. You are running to try to beat curfew - all these weren't there at the time, so it was one open field, they were running straight to go there. I mean come on man."

Laddie's Friend Becomes Eyewitness

Thomas Palacio, Laddie Gillett's friend and the last of his loved ones to see him alive, was the first eyewitness in this trial, and today as Justice Moore was led around the beach by the young man,Thomas proved just how key his testimony is to the prosecution's case.

We caught up with him after today's hearing to ask about the insight he was able to provide to the judge and he took the time to share the view he's developed of the police force in the year and a half after his friend Laddie allegedly died at their hands and right before his eyes. Here's more:

Thomas Palacio, Eyewitness
"She basically wanted to get an understanding of what played out on that day July 14th. So I ran her through where Laddie's final steps and I should her where and what transpired. I answered the questions and that was that."

Cherisse Halsall:
"What were some of the more pertinent questions that you feel she asked you?"

Thomas Palacio, Eyewitness
"I think it was when she asked me where we were when the cops basically ambushed us, where Laddie was when he got shot and where we were before we left."

Cherisse Halsall:
"Do you feel that you were able to conclusively prove to her that some of these things that the officers said, such as you jumping a six foot fence or hiding behind bushes in fact never took place?"

Thomas Palacio, Eyewitness
"Yeah I found that kind of funny but I was quite happy to show her that, that wasn't the case and I feel good about that."

"I've been back there but not to just go there, we've had vigils there before, I passed the beach club but to go there go there, I don't go there too often, it's too painful to go."

"It's always awful to think about it and to go there physically is 10 times worse but to me it's something that I have to do for my friend Laddie, the court has it's system and I have to do what the system says but it's also a way of me showing other people that you know this happened and we have to get justice for it so it's mixed feelings but I'm okay."

"I was never the kind of Belizean who hated the police, I was never the kind of Belizean who disrespected the police. So, to somewhat be a victim of police brutality contradicts what I thought the police were because I first hand saw what they are capable of doing."

"I don't hate the police I won't let one bad act, even though police have been doing a lot of nonsense in these couple years, I won't let that tarnish my view of the police."

"Also I feel like there is a lot of work that needs to be done on their behalf because you shouldn't be afraid of the police, you shouldn't be scared of police."

Channel 7

Re: Will Laddie Get Justice? [Re: Marty] #561561
02/03/23 06:22 AM
02/03/23 06:22 AM
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Four Weapons On The Beach When Laddie Got Killed

And the subject of that alleged perjury was the personal weapon that PC Augustine claims to have carried with him to the scene of the crime. It's a weapon he failed to put on the record during his initial testimony, one that was never submitted for ballistic testing.

Now, the question that arises, given the presence of that fourth weapon, is whether it casts a reasonable doubt about Martinez being the only shooter.

That possibility was discussed extensively by Attorneys, Selgado and Bradley today, here are all the ways they looked at it.

Dickie Bradley, Attorney-At-Law
"Where did this firearm come, what does this have to do with it, I mean then you know his answers are so, there is something at the Placencia police station where you put your gun and that is where he went and he put in his private gun and then who kept the key, the key was just dangling right down, -but it's a whole long sequence of thing and so I guess the senior crown council Javier Chan will get in contact with his big boss the Director of Public Prosecutions to make a report because the judge was not impressed at all that a member of our police force would come to court and do what unfolded."

Cherisse Halsall:
"Can you now sir, speak about that 11th-hour revelation that you introduced yesterday, where Clyde Augustine Claude Agustine testified to the fact that he had his personal weapon on the night in question, how does that change things for you?"

Oscar Selgado, Attorney-At-Law
"It does because it shows, one that the investigation is seriously flawed in the sense that the police took control of the matter on the night it happen, immediately and the police were unable to make find that Claude Augustin, police Constable took a firearm with him, and this is beside his government issued 9mm pistol, now he is sayin that he didn't take his government-issued firearm, he put it back in the safe but there is no record to show, and like I said that is evidence and I don't want to go into it but it is discovered that Claude Augustin took a personal firearm and that there were four firearms out there. In my closing arguments, I will put to the judge that there were four firearms out there and only one of those firearms was submitted for ballistic testing."

Dickie Bradley, Attorney-At-Law
"The trial judge I guess just felt that something had to be said in court and it was this extraordinary performance of the police witness who had given a statement, changing his mouth as he goes along, this is a trial in which a child has lost his life, and in which a corporal of our police force is on trial for that death, it's a tragedy on the two sides for those who lost Laddie Gillett and for an officer of the law to be on trial facing what could be years in prison and here is a witness who had given a statement which is very different from all the other statements from his fellow police officers and he took out a police issued firearm for which the Placencia police station keeps a special logbook, you sign out what you carry with the amount of ammunition and when you return it, you turn it in with the amount of the ammunition, he said that in a statement around the time of the incident, he would have had to read his statement before he came to trial, and he would have to know I just can't walk in there and from my memory decide let me see what I will say and then he tells the judge, you know I didn't sign for anything, I didn't sign back in any gun either. He said it he didn't sign it. In fact the attorney read the caption, every statement carries a caption that I am making this statement and I know I could get into serious trouble if I am telling things that are not true but then now, he came with a totally different matter, he had a personal firearm, hidden inside, well I can't say the police shirt because he was asked in court like did you have on a uniform and he can't remember if he had on a police uniform. So, then they asked him, like well, are you required when you are driving the police vehicle, are you required to be driving and he can't say if you have to be in your uniform, so I guess you could just turn up in civilian clothes with a Meghan the stallion T-shirt and go and drive the vehicle, but you know the performance, it's like as he's going along he is changing and the changes are obvious."

Emil Claims Police Perjure

And what does Laddie's foster family think of the troublesome testimony they heard this morning?

Well, Emil Bradley, who is a former cop says he's astounded by what he believes is collusion for a cover-up, and frankly ashamed of the police.

Emil Bradley, Laddie's Foster Dad
"Why so much lies, you know I am very, very, disappointed in these four police officers who were working that shift that night, you know the least they could have done was come out and tell the truth. It clearly shows how they are covering up for each other, the amount of irregularities that has been conducted by these police officers, man there was an officer in there, I'm sure, the people who are responsible to ensure that they get discipline but I will wait and to see the outcome, I don't want to make any noise yet, I want to see but I expect action to be taken against these officers according to the Prime Minister what he mentioned in the near interview, we took out all of them if we have to pay them and let them go but I will just standby and I will wait and see what will be the outcome, I mean it's such a shame, really a shame on these police officers."

Dickie Says One Gun, One Shot

But despite the record now showing that there were four weapons on the scene when Laddie Gillett died, supervising attorney for the prosecution, Dickie Bradley, says it doesn't change a thing.

He says that while weapons may have been present, only one weapon, Martinez's is known to have been fired.

Dickie Bradley, Attorney-At-Law
"Listen, what is the big problem with the gun, nobody is saying that there were more than one shot fired. There is no evidence that more than one shell was found on the scence because shortly after the young man was pronounced dead at the polyclinic in Placencia officer Choco was brought into the picture, shortly after, he takes corporal Martinez, the accused to the scene where this unfortunate incident occurred, they did a search, no doubt Corporal Martinez would say this and where I was and where I was standing and what happened and so on but this trial, there is no way the facts can be contorted because one shell was found, not long after, a shot was fired, that is the first thing. So, if that officer who you are referring to was really attempting to deceive and confuse the court, if he had taken his two John Wayne guns and a rifle it doesn't make any difference because every person who is present including the beach club security officer who kicked off this whole thing by calling for police because he had seen people prowling around, no witness who was present has said there were two bangs, there were three bans, there were one shot one kill, a shot goes off according to one of the witnesses and the young man fell face down."

Channel 7

Re: Will Laddie Get Justice? [Re: Marty] #561578
02/04/23 06:57 AM
02/04/23 06:57 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 83,965
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Marty Online happy OP

Marty  Online Happy OP
Yesterday, Justice Antoinette Moore, the Judge in Kareem Martinez's manslaughter trial, ordered one of the witnesses for his defence, PC Claude Augustine, to leave her courtroom after he gave testimony that she described as "perjury."

She then asked Prosecutor Javier Chan to have the Office of The Director of Public Prosecutions open an investigation into PC Augustine for that offence.

It was a sobering moment for each and every one of the court observers, and one that demonstrated the apparent lack of respect that some police officers have for the country's Supreme Court.

Well, that hiccup in the trial has reached the ears of the COMPOL and in a VOICE message to Laddie Gillett's foster family last night, he outlined what he believes are the requirements for justice to be served and just how these cops may have fallen short.

Voice of: Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police
"Justice can only be achieved when those who are task by law to carry out the duties of the people in holding the perpetrators of crime accountable for the actions are honest in the discharge of that duty. Anything short of that is going to defeat the whole objectives of justice."

Channel 7

Re: Will Laddie Get Justice? [Re: Marty] #561972
03/16/23 09:43 AM
03/16/23 09:43 AM
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Posts: 83,965
oregon, spr
Marty Online happy OP

Marty  Online Happy OP

Gun Expert Brought Back

And as we've told you Attorney Oscar Selgado also questioned the recalled gun expert about the possible trajectory of a bullet in the air, and whether there could be one loud bang from two weapons fired simultaneously.

But while evidence of a shot from Officer Clyde Augustine's gun is thin at best and implausible at worst, that second shot, is the argument that the defence continued to rely on today to possibly introduce a reasonable doubt. We got Attorney Dickie Bradley's response to that submission after the trial.

Dickie Bradley, Attorney-At-Law
"The one issue in dispute is that the defence is saying and submitted that it is and this is an incredible piece of submission, it is police constable Augustine who shot, but it is that police officer that, it is that police officer that killed Laddie Gillett."

That argument put forward by defence attorney Selgado was one he refused to comment on when he stepped out of court.

Oscar Selgado, Attorney At Law
"That is the evidence and I cannot comment on the evidence and I don't know how. You would know, I did not give the media a glimpse of my closing submission that is for the court only and that is why I didn't want the prosecution or anybody to comment on it because it's, You were there in the court, you heard what you heard but the matter is. before the court and so I will not breach the ethics of the profession to comment on it as other attorneys have done but what is before the court is what is before the court and if I don't get what I expect I will go to the court of appeal."

And while Selgado seemed ruffled, Laddie's foster family could only be described as cool and collected, telling the press that they have no doubt that a conviction is on the horizon.

Emil Bradley, Laddie's Foster Father
"Depending on Justice Moore, her decision. So, if she doesn't feel right and she didn't get all the evidence that she sees necessary to make a judgement she won't so she said on the 21st she will be casting judgement. I guess we are just waiting, we are just waiting to see what will happen. We have faith and we have hope. The evidence being submitted at the submission by Mr. Chan everything seems to be going good so far and we have a strong case."

"He could jump high, he could jump low, he could say what he wants, the point is there was only one evidence of only one shot that has been fired and that shot has been fired from the issued gun by Kareem, so it doesn't matter what he wants to say that is his role, you know to create doubt but he knows exactly where this is going. It's going to work for our part."

Still, there were some tense moments there, certainly one in which the defence tried to prove that a gun fired in the air still had the possibility of harming someone.

Cherisse Halsall:
"Sir, were you at all worried when the gun expert did admit that there was a possibility that a shot fired directly in the air could by gravity's force fall back to earth and injure someone?"

Emil Bradley, Laddie's Foster Father
"Well, yes in this case it would have to be not in the direction like he said he fired at the angle, that would have to be like a 90 degrees to come and come down and then with the evidence like Mr. Chan stated earlier from Dr. Ken the shot was fired from a low and it exited higher which clearly shows that the fire was shot from that angle and not from like he is trying to state from the top, you know. I see it impossible for him to be shooting away from that and then it curves back and then come back and hit it. So you know all these things, but like I said that is his role and and I am sure Justice Moore is not that stupid, so yeah that's just hot air for me."

Dickie Bradley, Attorney-At-Law
"The doctor found not a bullet in the shoulder, not a bullet in the back at an angle coming out of the air. The shot was fired horizontally based on what the doctor said. The judge is in the words of the great Shakespeare making assurance doubly sure. She wants to cover every single angle in this most unfortunate incident. Don't forget what has transpired, a young corporal of police has been charged and is now awaiting a verdict which will take place on the 21st day of March in April in the Belmopan court, yeah. So, you all heard what has transpired. the evidence from the pathologist. The police officer, this is very unfortunate for him, you all will get a copy from the prosecutor from the police manual, if you discharge your firearm and it does not involve defending yourself or defending another person that is a very serious breach and gives rise to criminal charges. That is the instruction that police officers are under."

This matter may not be concluded until Friday, April 21st, but at this time trial is concluded except for the verdict, reporting for 7News live from the Belize City Supreme Court, Cherisse Halsall, 7NEws.

Laddie's Bio Mom Cries For Justice

Also in court today, was Linda Gillett, Laddie's Biological mother. She's attended every session of the proceedings starting in Dangriga, and now in the city.

She exited the court visibly upset by the suggestion that a shot in the air fired as a warning could have possibly ended her son's life.

Here's what she told us about what Justice for Laddie would look like to her:

Linda Gillett, Laddie's Biological Mother
"Deal with him and find him guilty and then maybe some other police that like to brutalize people's children and shoot people picking like they are birds and those things there, maybe if they deal with him and put a stoppage to it with him then maybe the rest might think to just go and shoot people picking, how they feel like because the way how I see it the doctor, what the doctor said I go by. What the doctor said too I really agree with the doctor because the doctor won't lie, the doctor said there is nowhere far, nowhere further than 2 feet my son got shot in his back so I would say that is brutalized murder."

Again, Delivery of Judgement in the case of manslaughter against Kareem Martinez will be delivered on April 21st in Belmopan.

Channel 7

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