Last update: 09-Dec-2013 11:04 am
Monday, December 09, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Beetham says sorry
A few Beetham residents yesterday apologised to the national community for the incidents of violence which occurred during their protest over the police killing of Christopher Greaves, and particularly the situations in which stones were thrown at vehicles passing along the Priority Bus Route and the Beetham Highway.
The apology came yesterday as the community settled back to some semblance of calm after the hostile situation on the two previous days, when residents confronted joint police/army units as they sought justice for Greaves. “I want to apologise for the incident with the pelting of the vehicles and the children who they say got injured,” a male resident told the T&T Guardian.
“It wasn’t supposed to be about that but people are just so aggravated and hurt. We weren’t about that. We just wanted attention so that the people in authority could come in or the ministers could come in. “Look Mr Hypolite (MP for the area Nileung Hypolite) come today, and he would not have been here if we didn’t make noise. “We didn’t want the protest to be violent but when the police come and they running people and all these things... They pointed guns at them. Who wants a gun to be in their face? Nobody.”
Other residents chimed in as they discussed the shooting of Greaves, 23, by police on Sunday. Greaves was reportedly returning home from a nearby shop after buying two soft drinks when police shot and killed him. Police claimed Greaves was carrying a gun and started shooting at them when they challenged him, but several people who claimed to be eyewitnesses again denied this version of events yesterday.
“The guy who they kill makes me wonder if that specific police had something personal with this fella,” one resident said. “The youth man was running and they shoot him from behind. Bullets came through my window and other people window. I thought it was a ‘badman’ in police uniform.” Greaves’ death certificate says the primary cause of death was a gunshot wound to the back of his chest on the left side. The autopsy was conducted by Dr Hughvon des Vignes.
Hypolite, who was helping Greaves’ family with funeral arrangements, said he stood in support with the family in their call for a thorough investigation and justice. “Getting shot from behind tells you that no kind of caution was given to the individual in question. It suggests that there was no threat involved,” Hypolite said.
“The police must not be part of the problem when it comes to crime. They need to be the solution. An investigation needs to take place and the proper disciplinary action needs to happen.” When the T&T Guardian visited Greaves’ home yesterday, his 20-year-old fiancee, Khannah Thomas, sat on the floor in his living room holding back tears and listening to Bruno Mars’ There’ll Be No Sunlight If I Lose You Baby.
In a brief interview, she described feeling only sadness for herself and for Greaves’ two children, one-year-old Isaiah and Christopher Josiah, five. “We had a lot of plans,” she said as she played with her engagement ring. She said like most people his age, Greaves, who worked at National Fisheries, was still trying to figure out life and hoping to buy a car and provide a home for his young family.
Greaves’ funeral will take place at the Morvant Open Bible Church tomorrow at 2 pm. While residents seemed to have settled back to their lives and there was still a minor police presence in the community yesterday, community activist Anderson Wilson said although things had cooled down yesterday he could not say what would happen for the rest of the week.
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