A Tobago man was sentenced yesterday to 18 months in jail for motor vehicle manslaughter.
High Court judge David Harris, presiding in the Tobago Supreme Court, handed down the sentence.
Residents of both George and Nelson Streets in East Port-of-Spain last evening blocked off parts of the roads in protest of the shooting of two of their neighbours who were unarmed and shot by police. According to the residents the incident happened just after 6 pm.
According to one eyewitness who was sitting with Andy Gorkin, 50 and others “just breezing” when they saw a police vehicle drive down George Street. George Street traffic heads in a south to north direction. She said the officers came out and ran through the nearby buildings before she heard a gunshot. The woman said she saw both Gorkin and 23-year-old Josianne Ingess bleeding from gunshot wounds to their arms.
The witness said Gorkin was holding her 18-month-old son in his arms when he was shot. She said about an hour after the incident she was still “feeling like I deaf” and was in shock. She added that after she heard the gunshot she grabbed her child and hid behind a wall.
The two injured people were taken to hospital and the residents, demanding justice, set fire to an old refrigerator and other debris on both roads. While the fire blazed, young children were seen and heard chanting: “We don’t want no peace, we would burn down the police jeep.” The residents were more incensed because Ingess, they said, had just done her nails as yesterday was her birthday. Attempts to get a comment from the police up to press time yesterday was unsuccessful.
Last evening’s protest came on the heels of an earlier protest at Bagatelle, in Diego Martin following the fatal police shooting of Nigel Long on Tuesday. Long, 35, also known as Carwash, was killed on Tuesday night by a police officer of the Western Division, after he allegedly attempted to shoot the officer. The residents disputed the police claim and said Long was unarmed. Residents said they became more incensed after they saw the officer who fired the fatal shot on the scene of the incident.
“They harassing us for the past two nights now. They interfering with us and if we react, they arresting us. Look this morning these officers came down on us and arrested two men who were protesting. They come and rough up other men in the area as well,” one resident said. The resident said they would not let this killing be swept under the rug. Assistant Commissioner of Police Stephen Ramsubhag visited the scene yesterday to re-assure the residents that the investigation would be transparent.
An autopsy performed on Thursday by pathologist Dr Valery Alexandrov showed Long was shot four times thrice to the chest and once in the right hand. Investigations are continuing.