HATTIEVILLE, Belize District, Thurs. Dec. 28, 2017– The Ahmad family in Hattieville has not yet fully recovered from the death of Nadir Ahmad, who was shot dead by authorities in the Philippines on January 7. Now the family is again faced with another tragedy, that of career barber, Fareed Ahmad, 39, who was shot inside his vehicle this morning. After he was shot, Ahmad crashed his BMW SUV into the back of an old vehicle.
According to police reports, inside the vehicle with Ahmad at the time was Michelle Brown, 24, a police constable attached to the Special Assignment Team of the Eastern Division South police command.
They were both transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH), where Ahmad succumbed to his injuries while undergoing treatment. Brown, who received minor injuries when the vehicle crashed, remains admitted at the hospital in a stable condition.
The Commissioner of Police, Allen Whylie, has ordered both a criminal and internal investigation into this matter.
Today, Amandala spoke to Taheerah Ahmad, a sister of Fareed. She read a statement which began, “My brother, Fareed Ahmad, was ambushed this morning around 12:00 a.m., near Mile 16 1/2, less than a mile away from his home in Hattieville.”
She added, “The Fareed that we know was a black, middle-aged, law-abiding, ambitious man—the most popular barber in Belize. He grew his business from the age of twenty-one-years old to what it is today.”
Taheerah said that Fareed had been complaining of continued police harassment. “What we also know is the only issue Fareed has been complaining about for the past year is an ongoing surveillance, oftentimes what he alleged as harassment by special units in the police department,” she said.
“In fact, what we know is that Fareed was targeted last week, having his vehicle searched at the Racoon Street police station. From that search he again alleged harassment, and an excessive use of force, as he was subdued, handcuffed, and taken to the station by the new special assignment team,” Taheerah stated.
She further revealed that her brother had filed an internal report against the Special Assignment (SA) Team just hours before his demise.
“Unfortunately, what we also know is that yesterday [Wednesday] morning, Fareed made a formal complaint to the police internal affairs office with Mr. [Chester] Williams and less than twelve hours later my brother was ambushed and shot multiple times. Ominously, he was also accompanied by a female police officer from the same SA team.”
According to Taheerah, the family is not suggesting that this team commanded by Marco Vidal was involved in Fareed’s ambush.
However, she claimed, “But there are a lot of unfortunates that have been occurring under this command.
“What we also do know is that the same commander had invaded our private homes last year and levied a drug charge on Fareed, a case that was dismissed by the courts earlier this year,” Taheerah noted.
She said that, like the public, her family has many questions on this incident. She questioned, “Why wasn’t the scene secured by any officers when the incident happened, especially since a WPC was involved in this incident? Why wasn’t the place secured off, cordoned off, since both persons were known to have weapons and when they arrived at the hospital none of them had their weapons on them? So it is assumed that the weapons were inside the vehicle. Why wasn’t the place secured off when the police station is less than a quarter mile away?”
She further questioned, “Why did members of the SA team show up at KHMH right after the incident, only to confirm if my brother had passed away? Why did they show up at the scene this morning, and Mr. Chester Williams had to chase the team away?”
Taheerah said that the SA team’s behavior “has caused us [herself and her family] great alarm and grief.” She concluded that another of her brothers has begun to experience the same harassment endured by Fareed. “Let me lastly foreshadow, another brother of mine, has already started to levy these same allegations against the police,” she said.
When the press asked what relationship Fareed shared with the woman who was in his vehicle, his sister responded that there was no substantial relationship between the two, and so it raised even more concern.
In the case of her other brother who has begun to face police harassment, Taheerah explained that her family will address the matter formally with the police department. She stressed that no member of her family has been convicted of any offence. “We are a large family but we are a law-abiding family,” she said.
Abdul Ahmad, a brother of the deceased, revealed that he was one of the first persons on the scene after the accident. However, according to him, his family does not want to speculate about what happened.
He told the press, “What we don’t want as a family to do is speculate. Taheerah laid out some facts in regards to the suspicious behavior from the police and I believe that this is where Chester Williams and his team come in to conduct a proper investigation as to what transpired.”
Fareed Ahmad leaves behind his wife and three children.