Mom of suspect in cop’s death begs police: DON’T SHOOT HIM

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

SHOT DEAD: PC Clarence Gilkes – TTPS

THE mother of the man believed to be responsible for the death of PC Clarence Gilkes, has made a plea to acting Commissioner of Police Jacob McDonald, to give her son the right to defend himself before the courts.

She asked police on Monday, “Don’t shoot my son on sight,” adding, “Let him have his day in court, which is the law until he is proven guilty.”

In a radio interview on Monday morning, she called on McDonald to “do the proper forensics on what has happened.

“I have done my research. I know that sometimes the residue stuff would be on a person’s hand.

“I would like all of those things to be tested when and if my son comes in safely. And I would like you to do what you (were) put in office to do – bring proper justice.”

She said she has not seen or spoken directly to her son since the incident last Friday.

“I don’t know what to say to my son right now, because I wish he could come in safe.” She sent out “heartfelt” condolences to the Gilkes family over the tragedy. “This is sincerely from me, because I’ve been trying to get that out there.”

Gilkes, 44, was shot in the neck during a police chase involving Western Division Task Force officers and several suspects, at upper Rich Plain Road, Diego Martin. Police were responding to reports of gunfire in the area. He died at the St James Infirmary.

The mother went on to explain that she believes her son is being framed in connection with an upcoming court matter, on May 5, against police. The mother claims she got confirmation of this through an inside police source.

“I know it’s a serious allegation to make against the police service. And I’m sure he’s not stupid to make such allegations if they will not be true to a huge extent. She admitted her son was no angel, but also defended him.

“I would like the public to know that I’m not here for sympathy, or to make my son out as a saint. In his formative years, he had fallen through the cracks of life. He did follow bad elements. I, as a mother, had to deal with that.

In 2016, she said, he was jailed for having a firearm. He served two years.

“I have not condoned what he did in his formative years, ever. I do know for a fact my son has been turning his life around. I do know for a fact that that voice note he sent out when he said he spoke with his lawyers – he would not get his lawyer involved in that kind of position if it is not true.”

The latest discord between her son and the police started in 2021.

Her son was arrested and jailed for five months for breaching covid19 regulations, after being caught at a party while restrictions on large gatherings were in effect.

The mother said, “Last year when this started – the unlawful arrest – it’s one of the underlings who is known to my family (who) called and said your relative is being framed.”

She revealed that Police Complaints Authority director David West has since contacted her, promising to provide a safe space for her son to surrender.

Up to press time, no arrest had been made in connection with PC Gilkes’ shooting death.