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Spectators teargassed at Military/Police Tattoo

HeadlineSpectators teargassed at Military/Police Tattoo

What should have been a harmless smoke grenade was actually a tear gas grenade

BELIZE CITY, Mon. Sept. 4, 2017–Police holding a military and police tattoo on Friday night, September 1, at the Marion Jones Stadium, fired smoke grenades to show eager spectators a part of their tactics to control an unruly crowd.

But this “demonstration” backfired when one of the smoke grenades turned out to be the real deal, a CS Gas grenade, commonly called “tear gas”.

Some people were affected by the tear gas but, fortunately, none seriously. An immediate investigation to find out about this mess-up was opened, and explosives expert General David Jones, Commandant of the Belize Defence Force, was called in to inspect the smoke canisters.

During an interview held at the Belize Defense Force headquarters in Ladyville this morning, Commandant General Jones said that he inspected the canisters and found that the police had not been neglectful in their duties, that they deserved no blame in what had happened.

Commandant Jones said that it was a factory error, an improper labeling of a canister. The canister that contained the offensive tear gas was incorrectly labeled “Smoke.”

Amandala asked if it could have been a mistake made by the person who packed the “munitions” to be used at the tattoo; perhaps they had mistakenly packed a live CS Gas canister.

Police were adamant, however, that that could never have happened, because the smoke canisters were kept separate from the CS Gas canisters, and all the canisters that had the “Smoke” label had a distinct yellow marking.

The canister that contained tear gas will be submitted to the National Forensic Service. After the verification has been made, that indeed, a canister labeled “Smoke”, had tear gas in it, the company that manufactured it will be contacted about the error.

In the meantime, the BDF will test the police’s batch of canisters to verify that “Smoke” is in them, and not CS Gas.

The Commandant General remarked that in other military displays coming up, no more “Smoke” will be used by police, only “Smoke” from the BDF’s supplies.

The General and the police apologized to the public for the incident.

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