An all-out brawl on a San Pedro Belize Water Taxi passenger boat leaving Caye Caulker has gone viral on social media. The brawl is between a group of women and a male individual. The fight was triggered reportedly because the women did not want the male individual, who they identified as a homosexual, to sit next to them. There was an exchange of words then an explosion of violence as they attacked each other in front of other passengers that included children.

All this was captured on phone camera and eventually Police officers from the island had to be called in. When the officers arrived, they removed the male person from the passenger vessel using force. Video footage of the Police choke-holding the person until he fell asleep on the pier is all over Facebook.


Ironically, the person who was choked to submission by a Police officer has been identified as Police Constable No. 2226, Ralph Gillett.


Gillett had travelled to Caye Caulker to celebrate Lobster Fest and was departing the island when the incident broke out.

There has been heavy criticism towards the Police for their handling of the entire situation, and public pressure has caused an investigation by the Police’s Professional Standards Branch into the matter. Today Deputy Commissioner of Police Edward Broaster discussed the incident at today’s media briefing.


Screen_Shot_2019-07-01_at_8.09.42_PMEdward Broaster, Deputy Commissioner


“Those incidents that occurred in Cay Caulker are being investigated by the Cay Caulker police as well as the Professional Standard Branch and we are investigating the incident as it relates to the police officer that had a fight with passenger of the water taxi as well as the incident subsequent to that incident where the officer was choked and detained.”


Reporter


“I think what precipitated the altercation in the vessel instead of …?


Edward Broaster, Deputy Commissioner


“We don’t have the full information at this time as it relates to what sparks the fight in the vessel nevertheless the Cay Caulker police will deal with that matter as it pertains with the matter with the police officer dealing with the other police officer that matter is being investigated by the Professional Standards Branch. Well, that is no way close to the truth, everyone saw the video where from the reports we gathered there were several interventions to prevent several outburst on the vessel and the officer subsequently subdue the individual who was be-littering the fighting with the passengers in the boat, now the question is whether or not the officer did follow procedures and we have been doing training for officers in defense, tactics so that they can sue the least amount of force necessary to subdue the individual.”


Reporter


“Also from the early 1990’s in the US and I know you are well exposed individual, officer and experienced the choke hold have been band in many states because of the severity of it, can you say categorically if the choke hold sanctioned in Belize and in this particular situation was it warranted and additionally when he was finished choked out there is in the video that shows another officer hitting him, can you speak on both incidents?”


Edward Broaster, Deputy Commissioner


“Well, maybe you saw a different video from what I saw blows being thrown back and fort both by the officer in question and members of the public, as it pertains to the choke hold we have not sanctioned that particular defense technique, nevertheless, the officer that hit him after will be dealt with disciplinary.”


Reporter


“Sir, can you tell us why the officer was detained, can you confirm, will he be charged with anything?


Edward Broaster, Deputy Commissioner


“Like I said, when Cay Caulker police conclude their investigation as well as PSB we will be determining what charges will be levied to the individual and or individuals in this matter.”


Reporter


“Mr. Broaster, from a departmental stand point is this a matter of shame for you the department I mean the behavior of one of your officers off duty doing the advent seems a little bit vociferous and outrageous that he engaged in a physical altercation with women?”


Edward Broaster, Deputy Commissioner


“Any incidents involving police officers that are not in a professional nature we condemn so we condemn all unprofessional conduct by police officers.”

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