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Armed officers anger mourners At funeral of man shot by cops

Published: 
Friday, April 18, 2014
Nicole Dean, right, mother of Naim Dean (inset), who was shot dead by officers of the Rapid Response Unit on April 11, consoles a close friend of her son during his funeral service at the St Peter’s Roman Catholic Church, Carenage, yesterday. PHOTOS: ABRAHAM DIAZ

The presence of armed police officers at the funeral service for Naim Dean, who was shot dead by police last Friday, angered those who came to mourn his passing.  At the end of the service and final viewing of the body, friends of dead man were seen crying and cursing the officers. The officers told the T&T Guardian they were there to lend support to their colleague, who is the stepfather of Dean. Mourners were heard muttering that it was insensitive for the officers to be there bearing their guns. Two of the four officers had machine guns strapped around their necks as they stood outside the St Peter’s RC Church, Constabulary Street, Carenage. 

 

Twenty-one year old Naim Dean was yesterday remembered as a lover of football who became withdrawn after his father passed when he was a teen. During her eulogy Dean’s grandmother, Jane Simon, with whom he lived, told the congregation her grandson was never the type to like parties and going out but was mostly at home. She added that Dean had few friends and dreamt of playing football for the Mucurapo Senior Comprehensive but those dreams were crushed when his father Ray Simon died of a heart attack. Simon said her son and grandson both died on a Friday and both roughly at the same time. “He seldom smiled but when he did he would light up La Horquette,” she said.

 

Before the funeral service began some of his Dean’s friends, all wearing sunglasses and white T-shirts with an image of his face printed on it, stood behind trees as they cried. By the end of the service they could no longer hide their tears and openly cried. During his homily Monsignor Cuthbert Alexander called on those gathered to draw strength from Jesus Christ, particularly as this was Holy Week. During the service Dean’s girlfriend’s mother, Susan Hazeth, sang an original song, entitled “Missing You”. Dean was shot once in the back at La Horquette Road, Glencoe, by a Special Reserve Police officer attached to the Rapid Response Unit.

 

 

 According to police reports around 8 pm on April 11, the officers stopped a van that Dean was a passenger in and began searching him. The officer attempted to search his groin area when Dean slapped away his hand and ran. The officer chased him and a scuffle ensued. During the scuffle Dean reportedly stabbed him and the officer shot him once in the chest. Dean’s relatives said Dean was shot in cold blood while running away from the officer. They accepted that he was searched and ran away after slapping away the officer’s hand from his groin area. Relatives said the officer fired a single gunshot as he ran which pierced his lungs.