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Cell phone captures police beating detainee in San Pedro

GeneralCell phone captures police beating detainee in San Pedro

by Charles Gladden

SAN PEDRO TOWN, Ambergris Caye, Mon. July 8, 2024

In a video that is currently being circulated on social media, a police officer attached to the Special Patrol Unit (SPU) in San Pedro Town can be seen assaulting a man somewhere on the island.

Before the video was captured, reports surrounding the incident were indicating that police in the area had begun to pursue two men who they believed were equipped with firearms and allegedly had intentions to commit a crime.

The video footage starts at the point when the officers finally got a hold of the men, and one officer, identified as Devon Makin, detained one of the men and began to use excessive force by kicking the man twice behind his leg and pistol-whipping him once. Makin additionally shouted profanities at the man, forcing him to kneel while he checked to see whether he was indeed armed.

While this was happening, the other man captured some cell phone footage of the incident, and in the middle of the clip Makin looked twice at the camera, placed his weapon into its holster, looked once more, and moved forward toward the cameraman aggressively, demanding not to be videoed.

The video was recorded sometime over the weekend and uploaded to social media on Sunday, July 7, and it is unclear if the suspect was armed or not.

Today, Monday, July 8, during the weekly police press briefing, ACP Hilberto Romero, Regional Commander of the Belize Police Department Eastern Division, declined to comment on the matter when the media questioned him about it.

Multiple times in the past, police officers have been caught on video being aggressive toward civilians and using excessive force while conducting basic checks. When they realized that they were being videoed, their demeanor either changed and they would walk away from the situation, or they continued the aggressive behavior and forced whoever was recording to stop doing so.

In 2022, the late Communications Director of the Police Department, ASP Fitzroy Yearwood noted that civilians have all right to video the police when they are conducting searches.

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