General — 10 November 2015 — by Albert J. Ciego
Cop charged with abusing prisoner with baton

SAN IGNACIO TOWN, Cayo District, Mon. Nov. 9, 2015–Superintendent Andrew Ramirez, Commander of San Ignacio Police, has reconfirmed his “zero tolerance” for police abuse of members of the public.

Constable Kent Thompson, 28, of Hillview, Santa Elena, was arrested and charged for the crime of harm after he was allegedly seen beating a man who was being detained in a cell at the San Ignacio Police Station, with a baton.

PC Thompson was charged with harm and he was taken to the San Ignacio Magistrate’s Court today, where he was arraigned on the offence. He was offered bail of $800 and ordered to return to court on December 30.

San Ignacio police said that a recommendation will be made to the Commissioner of Police for his interdiction during his trial. Thompson will also face disciplinary charges and will be tried by a police tribunal for violation of the code of conduct that governs the behavior and conduct of police officers.

The incident allegedly occurred on Tuesday, October 12. Gustavo Williams, 33, an artist of Western Street, San Ignacio Town, reported that on that day, he was detained at the San Ignacio Town police station. While he was locked up in the cellblock, however, during the night at about 1:30, a police officer entered the cell and began beating him with a baton.

As a result, Williams complained of pain in his left shoulder, left arm, and the left side of his abdomen, his right leg and right arm. A statement was recorded and medico forms issued, and his injuries were classified as harm.

An investigation was conducted in which statements were recorded and surveillance footage was downloaded.

Today, Monday, November 9, Constable Kent Thompson was taken to court, where he pleaded not guilty and was offered bail.

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