Sr. Supt. Marco Vidal said that he agreed with the “widely-held” perception that “certain groups were allowed to thrive in the marijuana trade while others were not allowed to thrive on that trade under the previous commander [ACP Chester Williams].”
BELIZE CITY, Thurs. Sept. 14, 2017–A legal battle between two senior police officers looms over the Belize Police Department after Southside Commander, Senior Superintendent Marco Vidal, made some scathing comments about the work ethics of his predecessor, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Chester Williams.
ACP Williams on Tuesday posted to social media, “I am appalled by the comments aimed at discrediting me in the news today. Before and after my transfer from southside, I have refrained from saying anything negative about my successor, and I intend to maintain that.”
He continued, “I serve in an organization in which professionalism is paramount and do not intend on venturing into no personal attacks on my successor, who happened to be my subordinate, or anyone else.”
According to Williams, he will “tread professionally” and consult with his attorney before issuing a professional response. He said he would be “looking at taking legal actions.”
Well, today, Thursday, Amandala spoke with ACP Williams, and he told us that he has met with his legal counsel, Andrew Marshalleck, and they have already drafted a letter to be sent to Vidal.
That letter, according to Williams, is demanding a public apology from Vidal for his “defamatory” statements made on Tuesday.
According to Williams, by Friday he hopes to have that letter delivered to Vidal.
In an interview with the media on Tuesday morning, Sr. Supt. Vidal made allusions suggesting that there had been no peace on the Southside during the period when Williams was Southside Commander.
Chester Williams says Marco Vidal will get his “papers” served on Friday
One journalist asked Vidal, “Are you alluding to the widely-held perception that certain groups were allowed to thrive in the marijuana trade while others were not allowed to thrive on that trade under the previous commander?”
Vidal responded, “Exactly, and obviously, you have your information from that world.”
The journalist responded, “I said it was a perception.”
Vidal answered, “I don’t know if it was a perception. I’m sure you have your sources there and you would know that there was some perception, if you may, that there were some persons allowed to do some things and others not allowed to do the same thing. My position is and my strategy is that it is across the board. You commit an offense, and you will face the consequences for that offense.”
On Wednesday, the media spoke to Vidal again, after Williams’ social media post. Vidal indicated that he had no knowledge of any legal action against him.
He said, “I know there are a number of things on the social media. I have my own opinion about the social media, but as I said, I will not contribute to anything that is being said. I said what I said and I will leave it at that.”
When the media pressed, he responded: “Well, unless you are trying to help him with his case, I have nothing more to say on that matter. I am not going to be helping anybody with his case.”
When asked if he would retract his statement, Vidal declined further comment.
In April, Williams, who had gained considerable respect for his community policing methods, brokered a gang truce which led to a period of relative peace on the Southside; for weeks, no gang-related casualties were reported.
Williams, however, was transferred to the Police Professional and Standards Branch (PSB) in July, and replaced by Vidal, the former commander of the Gang Suppression Unit (GSU).
Our newspaper could not reach Vidal for a comment.