San Pedro Police Officer Tyrell Rowley out on bail after arraigned for Wounding islander Jamir Leal

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2019

San Pedro police officer 21-year-old Tyrell Rowley attached to the island’s Quick Response Team (QRT) was arraigned at the Belize City Magistrate Court on Wednesday, January 23rd, for the offense of Wounding. Rowley and another QRT officer, Samir Medina were involved in a case of police brutality on January 1st at Playa Bar and Grill in the Boca del Rio Area. Rowley was caught on camera senselessly beating 20-year-old Jamir Leal despite being subdued on the ground. Medina stood nearby as they also apprehended Jamir’s brothers Mario and Justin following an altercation inside the beach bar. Since the incident, both officers were suspended and on interdicted awaiting trial. After appearing in court, Rowley managed to secure bail, which he met and was, therefore, let go until his next court date at the Magistrate Court in San Pedro Town on March 13, 2019.

Rowley, who resides in Belize City appeared before Magistrate Emmerson Banner around 2:30PM. The interdicted officer was read a single count of Wounding upon Jamir to which he pleaded not guilty. According to the report, the offense was open to bail, and because there was no objection, Rowley was free to go after meeting a $1,000 bail plus one surety of the same amount. It is yet to be known if Medina will face charges.

Jamir’s beating of Rowley went viral on social media and was condemned not only by thousands of Belizeans around the country but different non-governmental organizations including the same Belize Police Department. The footage also showed the owner of the establishment kick Jamir in the head in front of the officers, which upset people even more.

In the meantime, Rowley is expected to face internal disciplinary actions. One will for using excessive force on a subdued individual and the other for allowing a civilian to inflict injury on an individual while on the ground.

 

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