Last update: 24-Jul-2014 10:21 pm
Friday, July 25, 2014
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Pastor: No more trust in police
A pastor at the funeral service of a man who was killed by police said yesterday the trust in police officers has eroded to the point where citizens were now in fear of officers. At the funeral service, pastor of the Jesus Elam church, Barataria, Bishop Gary George yesterday said while he was not bashing the Police Service more had to be done to regain that trust. “I remember as a boy, the police was a counselor, he was a mechanic.
We weren't afraid of the police but rather the bandits. “So it is a sad state when instead of fearing bandits right now, for whatever reasons, we fear the police but the only way to combat this spiritual assault is with prayer. “Our nation must know how to pray. If in New York, they can cut crime in half, then we can too but we must have cooperative prayer,” George said.
He added: “This service is not to bash the police or their officers but rather for us to understand where our country is at. The battle this nation is fighting right now is not just a physical one but a spiritual one. “If you look at our country and look at the cycle of violence that occurs, you will notice certain trends. “You will note that there were times where there were several reports of fires, then reports of rapes, then kidnappings, then a lot of children were dying and then murders, now it is police officers killing innocent people.”
Joel “Ming” Apparicio, 31, was on his way to the San Juan Police Station when he was shot on May 22 in the chest on Real Street by a police officer, dressed in civilian clothing, seated in an unmarked vehicle. Witnesses at the scene said they overheard the officer saying that he had shot the wrong man. Apparicio’s mother, Wendy Ann Huggins, who was trailing her so, to the Police Station, witnessed the shooting. Several of the mourners were wearing blue Tshirts with the words “Justice for Joel” on the back.
During the eulogy Apparicio’s 13-year-old daughter Jade recalled how her father encouraged her to be an honest hard-working young woman. She said her father was humble and respectful and she was hurt by his death. Police say an investigation into his death was being done by the Homicide Bureau and the Professional Standards Bureau.