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Derrick Uh's Senseless Death Highlights Need For Laddie’s Law, Says Foundation

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Last Updated: August 22, 2022

Need For Laddie's Law Highlighted in Derrick Uh's Death

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20 year-old Derrick Uh, dead in care of police

Another recent death of a young Belizean in police custody highlights the need for the adoption of Laddie’s Law in police training and procedures, according to the Justice For Laddie Foundation.

On Sunday, 14 August, 20-year-old Derrick Uh died after being locked in the back of a police van, where he was left in extreme temperatures without food, water, or ventilation for over 13 hours.

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The coroner immediately returned a finding of heat stroke as the cause of death.

Lucy Fleming, the Foundation’s chair, said implementing Laddie’s Law could help prevent tragedies like Mr Uh’s death from occurring in the future.

derrick uh portrait corozal belize

Ms Fleming’s adopted grandson, Laddie, was killed after being shot in the back, without cause or reason, by a police corporal exactly one year and one month to the day that Mr Uh died in police custody.

“We know only too well the horror and heartbreak a family goes through when something so unnecessary and senseless like this happens,” Ms Fleming said.

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14-year-old Laddie, who was shot and killed by police last year July in Placencia Village, southern Belize

“The fact that these deaths, and others like them, happened to innocent youths by people paid to protect and serve their communities is causing enormous damage to society. The growing mistrust between citizens, especially young people, and the police is particularly disturbing,” Ms Fleming explained.

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Cops charged in relation to Uh's death

“Our youths should not feel endangered by the very people sworn to protect them.”

Laddie’s Law was developed by a Foundation consultant as a way to make police procedures more transparent, and officers more accountable, through common sense practices that include the creation of a private Citizens’ Review Board, with the powers to investigate the circumstances whenever a minor is hurt or killed by police officers or while in custody.

Laddie's Law - What Is It?

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Learn more about Laddie's Law by clicking here.

Other measures stipulate that, in cases resulting in injuries or deaths, that all police officers involved be immediately tested for the presence of drugs or alcohol, and that every time an officer discharges his or her weapon, they fill out a form to record when, where, and for what reason shots were fired.

All forms, statements, and records resulting from deaths during an arrest or while in custody are to be made available to the Citizens’ Review Board. The proposal also asks that “Victim Impact Statements” from family and friends of anyone killed by police officers be incorporated into police training to create more awareness of the human consequences of the use of deadly force.

Ms Fleming stressed that the adoption of Laddie’s Law would benefit police as well as communities.

“Laddie’s Law is in no way meant to put police in a bad light or hamper their ability to carry out their duties. Rather, it should be seen as a way to rekindle trust by fostering better communication and a better understanding of police activities, on one hand, and let authorities hear the expectations and concerns of individuals and communities on the other.

“As we emphasized after Laddie’s murder, we believe that the majority of Belize’s police officers are honest, dedicated professionals doing important work. Officers that we’ve spoken with are as appalled by the actions of a few bad cops as the rest of us are, as it reflects badly on them, and the good work they do.

“Hopefully, Laddie’s Law will be seen as a way to weed out bad actors in uniform while highlighting the positive things the Police Force does,” she added.

Ms Fleming encouraged people to visit the Justice for Laddie website at to learn more.

“It’s been said that it takes a village to raise a child. We believe that it takes a community to protect our children, and that open communication between police and the people they serve benefits everyone,” Ms Fleming added.


Laddie’s Law calls for:

  • Create a private Citizens Review Board to examine and issue a report on any instance of a minor being hurt or killed by police officers
  • Ensure that any police officer who, in carrying out his or her duties, causes injuries or death to a member of the public, and especially a minor, immediately be tested for the presence of drugs or alcohol
  • Make it mandatory that the results of those tests, as well as sworn testimony by attending police officers, medical personnel and first responders such as ambulance drivers be immediately and formally recorded
  • Ensure that police officers who discharge their service weapons – for any reason - fill out and sign a form outlining when, where, under what conditions, and for what reason they fired their weapon
  • Agree that all records and forms outlined above are made available to the Citizens Review Board, and