Duke calls on CoP to act on cops who killed three

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Watson Duke – Photo by Ayanna Kinsale

POLITICAL leader of the Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) Watson Duke on Wednesday night called on acting Police Commissioner McDonald Jacob to give an update into the police killing of three people last month.

Duke spoke in a Facebook live broadcast at a candlelight vigil at the corner of Independence Square and Chacon Street, where the killing took place.

He said he and the family were given some assurances last time they met with Jacob that to date have not materialised.

“You see these young people out here? They are concerned. I am concerned.

“I am calling upon Commissioner Jacob to do the honourable thing. Tell us, those police who committed murder, what is going on with them?”

Calls to Jacob went unanswered on Thursday.

On July 2, Leonardo Williams, Fabien Richards and Isaiah Roberts were killed by police who claimed the three shot at them.

Williams and Roberts, both 17, and Richards, 21, were among six who were chased from Diego Martin to Independence Square, Port of Spain, where they were killed in the alleged shootout.

Two survivors were arrested. A 15-year-old boy who was in the car was shot in the right arm and grazed on the abdomen.

All three were released without charge days after the incident, although police said a Smith and Wesson pistol was found in the car.

The autopsy reports on the three who were killed said Williams died from multiple gunshot wounds to the back, right buttocks and forearm; Roberts was shot in the back of the head and right lower back; and Richards was also shot in the back of the head, neck and upper limbs.

Lead investigator in the triple killing Snr Supt Neil Brandon-John told Newsday on July 21 he was awaiting documents from the Forensic Science Centre to dictate the next step in the investigations. On Thursday he reiterated that his officers were still awaiting the documents.

Three officers involved in the killing were removed from patrols and put on desk duty pending the outcome of the investigation.

At the vigil, Williams’s father Leo Williams called on Jacob to suspend the officers without pay instead.

“I want to ask the Commissioner of Police why he take these police officers out of the hot sun and put them in an airconditioned office behind a desk, I watch that as a promotion. So I want to know why Mc Donald Jacob protecting these murderers for?”

Recalling the charging of eight police officers for murder in a two-year-old shooting in Morvant, Duke said the officers involved in last month’s killing should also be charged with murder.

“Justice must not just be justice, it must appear to be…it must look a particular way. Don’t take too long. It is a growing concern that has not left our eyes. People are still feeling pain. We will not allow the matter to die and will not see this swept under the carpet.

“No murderer should be in the police service, they should be in jail.”