Police killing of La Fillette man sparks protest in T&T

Meshach Gibson’s relatives are asking for an investigation into his killing by police.

Their call comes after residents protested along the North Coast Road, Paria Main Road and Saddle Road in Maraval on Monday, calling for justice following what they say was the extrajudicial killing of Gibson earlier this month.

From as early as 6 am yesterday, residents began burning tyres and debris on the North Coast Road, blocking access by users.

The police, however, were eventually out in force and prevented some of the inconvenience.

However, there were sporadic fiery protests along the road up to as late as 11 am. During one of the incidents, a resident caught himself afire after he tried to light an old boat and debris using gasoline at Maracas.

In an anonymous interview with Guardian Media, Gibson’s relatives claimed they had CCTV footage which did not corroborate what the police claimed happened during the incident.

Police reports said that officers from the North Eastern Division were on mobile patrol along the Paria Main Road, La Fillette, around 4 am last week Tuesday when they attempted to stop a Nissan motor vehicle with two occupants.

The driver allegedly ignored the flashing blue lights, hand signals and command of the officers to stop. Officers reported that the driver and front seat passenger exited the vehicle and shot at them and they returned fire, hitting the driver. The other suspect ran off with a firearm and a knapsack.

Gibson was taken to the Port-of-Spain General Hospital but died. A pistol and six rounds of ammunition were reportedly found at the scene.

However, the CCTV footage provided to Guardian Media showed that the police vehicle left Cemetery Street, where Gibson lives, at 3.47 am, and on the way along the Paria Main Road, additional video footage showed that the police vehicle passed at 3.52 am.

A relative said 10 minutes after Gibson passed in his car, another vehicle passed and this person then saw the car along the Paria Main Road with the hazard lights on and no one was in sight.

“The same person said they saw the same police vehicle in Las Cuevas. We are confused because the time the police claimed this occurred it did not. Also, the claim of a second person, this is not true. When we heard that the police were looking for the second person we started asking around. We even drove into an area where the police claimed the second person ran and up to now, we don’t even know, so we have come to the conclusion that this is also untrue,” the relative claimed.

The relative said the family wants a proper investigation done.

“We just want justice for Meshach. … Meshach is loved by many and this is why the protest action has been so widespread,” another relative claimed.

Meshach’s autopsy report said he was shot in the head and chest.

Contacted yesterday, Police Complaints Authority head David West said their investigators tried to get to the community to question witnesses yesterday but were hampered due to the protest action.

Facebook Notice for EU! You need to login to view and post FB Comments!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.