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It Takes a Village

baby ian at his brothers laddie gillett grave during funeral
Last Updated: August 18, 2021

It Takes a Village to Raise a Child

We’ve been thinking about that saying a lot lately.

For our loving and beloved Laddie, it was especially true. Born in Belize City on March26th, 2007 and raised from infancy by the adoring Gran and Gramps Pommells along with family in Camelote and Chaa Creek, Laddie epitomised that saying.

And it says something about how special he was that that there was enough love, given and received, to go around in his all too short life.

In each and every household he was in – not to mention each classroom, team and adventure he participated in; Laddie stood out. You knew he was there. And it felt like he was everywhere.

Teasing, fooling around, playing and looking after his little brother, Laddie was a small lad with a big presence. The wellspring of love, laughter, playfulness and help that flowed from that little dynamo was so vibrant that we never imagined it disappearing. Laddie was such a part of so many lives that imagining life without him was like picturing a day without the sun.

He rose early, he was bright, warm, and he lit up our days.

That explains why, when he was so brutally taken from us, so many people grieved. Because Laddie was taken from all of us.

Our villages lost a bright, shining member who we expected to grow and, in time, help raise children himself.

Our families are still in shock, we’re still grieving and crying together. But it helps to know we’re not alone.

Now that we can no longer raise our boy as a village, we can come together as a community to make sure that there will be Justice for Laddie.

The same love, attention and devotion that went into raising him must now turn into community action, our collective grief into a shared commitment to make sure that there will never be another police corporal out there killing our young people.

And it’s important to include police officers as members of our collective village, those mostly decent, hardworking and responsible men and women who are a credit to their uniform and the community the serve.

Let’s be clear – a cop who shoots children in the back, or who would even recklessly fire his or her weapon into a dark, inhabited area, is an aberration; a gross deviation from the norm. A disgrace to his uniform and fellow officers.

We have spoken to police officers, and while they cannot publicly comment on a case that is still before the courts, we know that many of them, like us, are anxiously waiting to see Justice for Laddie.

We civilians are under no such constraints. We can and must continue to raise our voices and express our collective outrage that this is wrong, and that something must be done. For if nothing is done, whose child will be next?

This must stop. And stop now. No more families should go through this anguish.

We raised Laddie as a village, and now we must rise up as a community to keep pressure on the powers that be to do the right thing. For Laddie and our community.

While nothing can relieve the sorrow and aching loss our families feel every day, we do take comfort in knowing that we’re not alone, that we’re surrounded by others who are going to keep watching, meeting, petitioning, and doing everything possible to ensure that those responsible for Laddie’s murder do not go unpunished. We need to set a very strong example that these abuses of power and trust will not be tolerated. Not now, and never again.

It takes a village to ensure Justice for Laddie.