BELIZE CITY, Mon. Aug. 16, 2021– A police officer accused of committing several prior acts of violence is once again subject to interdiction and internal and criminal charges after pepper-spraying two handcuffed young men on Saturday — which caused one of the men to briefly lose consciousness.
The police officer, identified as PC David Griffith, has since been charged both criminally and internally, said Commissioner of Police Chester Williams, who condemned Griffith’s actions saying, “As a department, we are disgusted at what we saw. The behavior displayed by PC Griffith is not what we stand for, it is not what we are about, and it is not going to be countenanced by us.”
The Police Department’s Professional Standards Branch has since taken over the case, and Griffith has been placed on interdiction once again.
In 2010, Griffith was at the heart of a controversy following the death of 21-year-old Teddy Murillo. At the time, he was accused fervently by Murillo’s family members of being responsible for the death, and was transferred to Punta Gorda.
There, he again found himself in legal trouble after being charged for the manslaughter death of a prisoner, Rasheed Elijio, and was placed on an almost 10-year interdiction pending a criminal investigation, said Commissioner Williams.
The department reportedly opted to take him off the interdiction since the progress of the investigation had stalled, and he had been collecting a salary from the Government of Belize despite not doing any work for the department for a considerable number of years.
Commander of the Professional Standards Branch, Sr. Superintendent of Police, Calbert Flowers, has told local media that they are awaiting a medico-legal form to determine the extent of the injuries and what criminal charges will be brought against the officers.
He is hoping that the victims cooperate with the police so that they are able to charge the officers, since the Professional Standards Branch has gotten indications that they may be unwilling to do so.