Youth Minister responds to calls for police reform

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Posted: Saturday July 24, 2021. 12:38 CST.

By Aaron Humes: The movement to stop the unnecessary use of force and the killing of young people continues even after Friday’s funeral for 14-year-old Laddie Gillett of Cayo.

National anger continues to be fueled along with calls for reform. While the issue of police brutality and profiling is not new, the effects in the particular case of Gillett and his companions are not.

So what is the government’s position? Kevin Bernard, the minister for youth, sports and e-governance told Channel 7 News the issue has been discussed in Cabinet.

Bernard points out that it starts with proper police training and ensuring that the Gillett affair is taught to recruits as an example of what not to do:, the recent police input, this is the first time that these police officers had to have a high school diploma. They didn’t accept just anyone. It is, but I think this is where you start. The right training that needs to be given and discipline.

The minister further acknowledged that “mistakes” like the Gillett case make us all look bad and that justice must be served not only for Laddie, but for all those the police did wrong in the line of duty.

Gillett’s adoptive family and friends have publicly proposed the establishment of a civilian review board for incidents of brutality and profiling, especially of minors, and the creation of a system to ensure that officers suspected of being under the influence are immediately tested and their memories considered sworn evidence.


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