BELIZE CITY, Thurs. Apr. 23, 2015–Varied accounts of police abuse against civilians make the news on a regular basis, but this week, the peculiar news is that police officers allegedly violently abused one of their own.
The incident reportedly happened last Sunday, April 19, at the Partridge Street residence of well-known personality, Lloyd Flowers, who offers rooms for rent on his premises.
In an interview with Amandala on Monday of this week, Flowers recounted the incident in which PC Daryl Ebanks, who is one of his tenants, was allegedly “beaten like an animal” by fellow police officers and elements of the Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) while in uniform.
He said, “We were in our living room at around 6:00 p.m. when my wife heard noises at the gate, so she peeped through the window and saw the group of policemen standing at my gate. I went downstairs to find out what was the matter, and they told me it’s nothing, so I went back upstairs and stayed on the verandah watching them, but then I got concerned because they stayed there for half an hour, just waiting in my yard.”
According to Flowers, the female inspector who was in charge of the team of officers then asked him for a key for Ebanks’ room, but when he couldn’t find the key, they requested a hammer to break the lock for the room door.
At the same time, another police vehicle brought Ebanks into the yard, after which the officers obtained the key from him (Ebanks) and went to search his room.
“Apparently, they didn’t find what they wanted, and they still wanted to arrest him, but he was in uniform and I understand that they couldn’t arrest him while he was in uniform. They then asked him to go and change his clothes, and he refused. That’s when about five of them ganged up on him and beat him to the ground, and when he tried to fight back, they pulled out their tasers and used them on him. The glare looked like when a barge is being welded, and he (Ebanks) was bawling. I got mad because he is a police officer, but he is a human being too, and they beat him like an animal,” Flowers said.
Flowers said that they only backed off when he threatened to tell the media about the situation, and added that he was appalled at the severity of the beating of the officer while in uniform.
On Monday, Amandala asked Head of Belize District CIB, Superintendent Hilberto Romero, about the confrontation, and he told us that he was not aware of the situation, but that he would look into it.
On Tuesday, Police Press Officer Raphael Martinez gave us a similar response.
Yesterday, we followed up with the Professional Standards Branch of the Belize Police Department, and today, they confirmed that Ebanks visited their office this morning to make a complaint, and though they did not provide much information about the circumstances surrounding the incident, we were informed that they are presently “dealing with the matter.”