BELIZE CITY, Thurs. Feb. 15, 2018– A night of clubbing ended badly for four Belize City men after they left the Elements Night Club in the wee hours of Friday morning in a 1993 Mitsubishi van. The men alleged that they were followed by police in an unmarked vehicle, and the police later opened fire, injuring one of them.
The men declined an interview with Amandala, but in an exclusive interview with 7News, Harold Usher alleged that he had been shot in the back of the upper arm. Usher said that when they came to a stop, they were dragged out of the van and beaten. He said he tried to talk the officers out of it by showing them his injury, but they beat him on his wound.
Usher said he was not taken to the station and charged with any offence; instead, he was taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) for medical attention. He told 7News that he is very upset about what transpired, because he is unable to return to work given the state of his injuries.
Denton Requeña, the driver of the van, was charged with failure to give a signal when changing direction, driving without due care and attention, and hitting a police mobile vehicle at an ambulance crossing.
Requeña explained that the vehicle had been tailing them from the time they left the night club, and while approaching the roundabout at the entrance of the Philip Goldson Highway, he heard about 4 shots.
Thereafter, he heard Usher cry out that he had been shot, and so he decided to take him to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital.
“At no point was there a light or siren to signal me [nor] a police informing me to stop,” he said. “If that’s the way police stop vehicles, I will personally stop driving. I want an explanation for the shooting, beating, because they have my face swollen, ribs damaged and my breathing short. I’m just barely recovering and I really need some answers, because all those bills incur on me already, and they’re still pressuring,” said Requeña.
He added, “It’s craziness, but it’s reality … you need to explain to us how we deal with the situation from here because we can’t just be left with a damaged vehicle, a victim that was shot, a beaten face by two officers and a W [Woman Police Constable]. That’s not a normal situation to deal with.”
Denton Requeña appeared in court for the traffic offenses last Friday. He pleaded not guilty and the matter was adjourned until March 29.
Requeña has since lodged a formal complaint at the Professional Standards Branch. Usher, for his part, has retained the legal services of Leroy Banner.
In a press conference held today in Belize City, the Media Relations Unit of the Belize Police Department said they had no information about the incident.