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Samad protests police killings
A San Juan mother whose son was allegedly killed by police last month, yesterday teamed up with activist Ishmael Samad to voice concerns over extra judicial killings in T&T. Lynette Dyette, of Sunshine Avenue, San Juan, stood beside Samad on Sackville Street, Port-of-Spain, as he held a placard bearing the names of five people who were allegedly killed by police on August 17, 2007.
Jordan Charles, Lincoln Forde, Glen Liverpool, Hayden Goddard and Wendy Courtney were reportedly killed by Northern Division officers on inquiries on the Churchill-Roosevelt Highway, Agua Santa Drive, Wallerfield, around 5.30 pm on the fateful day, when they intercepted a Nissan Almera, with four armed men. At the time, police reports claimed the men shot at the police who returned fire, killing them instantly and accidentally shooting Courtney, who was in her house at the time.
Armed with 30 posters bearing the names and dates of people reportedly killed by police from 2007 to present, Samad mounted the pavement opposite the Police Administration Building, Port-of-Spain, around 8.30 am and began sticking them on the wall of the Central Police Station. Although he was denied permission to hold an all-day vigil on the pavement in front of the Police Administration Building, Samad insisted he had to highlight police killings which he said “could not continue to go unchecked.”
Interrupted by the police around 8.45 am, Samad was ordered to remove the posters and was told he was defacing government property. He complied and later lined them along the pavement, so pedestrians could read them. After a second warning from police that he was obstructing the walkway, Samad said he was not afraid “to be locked up for this cause.”
Speaking with the T&T Guardian, Samad said he had written to the secretary general of Amnesty International early last week, requesting that August 17 be proclaimed internationally, as a day of remembrance for all victims killed by police under questionable circumstances. Insisting that he would be hosting such a vigil every year, Samad said: “I want to send a message that extra judicial killings in this country must stop...Police cannot continue to kill innocent people.”
Shaking her head in agreement, Lynette Dyette said she chose to be part of the effort to “highlight the actions of police officers who feel they are untouchable.” Still grieving for her son who was allegedly gunned down in San Juan on July 8, Dyette who was joined by friend Avril Pitt, pointed to their T-shirts which featured a picture of her son Derreon, with the words “mercilessly executed” written beneath, and said, “I believe this is it...This is what they did to my son.”
Derreon “Monster” Dyette, 23, of Sunshine Avenue, was allegedly killed by North Eastern Division Task Force officers during a reported shoot-out. Denying that Derreon was wanted by police, Lynette recounted her experience on the fateful day her son was killed. She said she was at home with Derreon when he received a phone call that two police jeeps were in the area and officers were searching for him. She said Derreon ran out of the house clad in a towel alone.
Lynette said her son was shot twice in the back, but managed to make it to a neighbour’s house where he sought help. She said police later went to the woman’s house where Derreon had been and “four of them fired at him.” Describing her son’s injuries yesterday, Lynette said Derreon’s face was unrecognisable after the shooting.
Revealing that Derreon had been shot at least 26 times, Lynette said: “My son did not deserve that gruesome and horrible death...He was unarmed and never shot at the police.” Lynette said although she has filed a complaint with the Police Complaints Authority, she is yet to hear from them.
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