Breaking News


August 05
06:29 2019

Two weeks after Allyson Major was shot to the back of the head, an injury which would cause his death, the cop who allegedly pulled the trigger, Cpl. Kent Martinez, was taken to the Magistrate’s Court where he was arraigned on one single charge of Manslaughter by Negligence, an offence usually reserved for fatalities during RTAs.

Martinez, flanked by two Police officers, managed to dodge the media on his way to the arraignment. During the hearing, Magistrate Michelle Trapp specifically asked the prosecution if they were any objections to her granting bail to the accused. When the prosecution did not pose any objections, the Magistrate granted the accused cop bail of 15 thousand dollars and adjourned the matter until September 30th.

Attorney Dickie Bradley, in an interview after the hearing, explained that while he is not representing Martinez for the substantive matter, he was present solely to deal with the issue of bail. Bradley explained to the media that the charge is a bailable offense and when the matter makes it to trial, if Martinez is found guilty the sentence will likely be a fine, since the charge rarely results in a prison sentence.

Bradley, in an unexpected turn, stated that he is fully aware that the lesser charge of Manslaughter by Negligence for stripping the life of an educator, a father, a husband, and son would cause public outrage and would not suffice the public’s demand for fair justice to prevail.

Bradley advised that when the shooting of a citizen happens at the hands of a cop the decent thing that authorities should do is to make amends as much as possible for the loss of life instead of putting the family through any lengthy Court proceedings. Bradley explained that the Department should also arrange to pay compensation to the family of the slain individual because in the end the authorities are in the wrong for causing the loss of life and have the responsibility of facing the consequences.

Citing previous Police cases in which there has been no justice, Bradley accused the authorities sworn to protect and serve the public of sending the wrong message – ” Police in Belize are either not training their officers enough or they have no strict protocol on when to use force, when to fire your gun, when to pull out a firearm. We just lost a life and they still cannot come and tell us the proper procedures for officers to (1) pull out their gun and (2) to use it. How do you use a gun on someone who is driving away from you, when there is no evidence that he killed anybody or caused any damages to anybody? Fi go buy some weed? Is that what they are really saying, that they will shoot a man dead for some weed? The Police should really be slapped with some big fines – three to four hundred thousand dollars to send a message that this society doesn’t accept that trained officers who are to enforce the law are the ones who are breaking the law. We can’t have that in society.”

Major died on July 17th, a day after he was shot to the back of his head, at the end of a Police chase at the foot of the Swing Bridge in Belize City. Cops reported that they had witnessed Major allegedly picking up a suspicious package on George Street and when they attempted to stop him he sped away in his pickup truck.

According to the conditions of his bail, Kent Martinez cannot leave the country unless he makes a special application for permission from the Court. He is not to interfere with any of the witnesses in the matter. He is to surrender all his travel documents to the Court and he is to report to the Queen Street Police Station every week.

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