I first met Derek Walcott, who died on March 20, in the late 1960s when we both worked as reporters at the Trinidad Guardian and the Trinidad Evening News in my native Trinidad.
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24th police killing for 2014 sparks fiery protest, as Morvant residents call for quick justice
Although relatives of Chaquille Mc Coy do not expect to get justice for his killing at the hands of police, the angry relatives and villagers still burned tyres and demanded some sort of relief yesterday. The action came because they said Mc Coy was innocent and did not deserve to die that way. The police, however, claim McCoy was on his way to murder a woman and shot at them when they attempted to intercept him. According to police reports, around 10.45 am yesterday officers of the North Eastern Division Task Force responded to a report that three armed men were in a track off Mon Repos Road, Morvant, which leads to Petunia Avenue.
The officers said they received information that the men were making their way to the home of Michelle Holder whose sons — Jadel Holder, 9 and Jamal Braithwaite, 15 — were assassinated at their Petunia Avenue, Coconut Drive, Morvant, home on Sunday. The lawmen said when they approached the trio they were fired upon and returned fire, killing Mc Coy. The other two men escaped. However, residents said police murdered Mc Coy while he was at work near a nearby parlour, called the “Bango Snackette”. At the time of his killing, Mc Coy was said to be cutting steel for the construction of a box drain. The residents added the area which led to Petunia Avenue was nowhere close to where the man was killed. Mc Coy’s mother, Marsha Mc Coy, told the media her son could have been a criminal because of with whom he grew up but instead decided to become a disc jockey.
She said the 21-year-old father of one, who went by the sobriquet “Spin Boi Paul”, was also planning a party before he was killed. She added: “He was a very nice boy, very straight-forward and loved music and football. “Let me tell allyuh something, from where them children come from, they could have been worse. If they wanted to take the bad road they could have taken it. They had some stumbles, yes, but they change their lives. “And to hear that from that, he trying to keep out of trouble and they still come for him and this is how he died. That is hurtful. That is just hurtful.” Mc Coy’s older brother, 22-year-old Isaiah Mc Coy, said yesterday morning his brother asked if he was going to work and he said no. Moments later, the older Mc Coy was told police had killed his brother.
A visibly upset Isaiah was seen pacing the roadway and saying he was the last one on the street. He said his older brother was murdered in 2008 and now his younger brother was killed by police. “I don’t expect anything to happen but I want justice. I don’t want the police to cover this up because my mother know we working. We trying to stay out of that life,” he said. Mc Coy was almost arrested by officers after he attempted to pick up a spent shell from the scene of the shooting. That, and the presence of Crime Watch host Ian Alleyne, afforded residents and opportunity to show their anger.
Three protesters arrested
Residents were heard saying officers could not expect assistance from the public when they behaved like that as they promised to re-ignite the burning tyres that were doused by the Fire Services. The residents, after ending the protest at Mon Repos, also blocked off the Lady Young Road yesterday evening, causing a major traffic jam for those heading out of the city. Three people were arrested during that protest.
Mc Coy’s cousin, Nelisha Mccoy, said: “We don’t expect any justice but we want it. The reason being birds of a feather. You see North Eastern Division Task Force kill him and look around you it’s the same Morvant and NEDTF men who out here now. “So we asking for help. We want justice. My mother get kill just the other day. She was stabbed and killed in town. So my family tree shortening every year. And it’s not to say that Chaquille is a bad boy or anything. He is a little child.“ Residents said Mc Coy was shot in the back. “Is seven jeep pull up here today... They shoot at him while his back turn... The man was cutting steel and they come and shoot him, then come over him and shoot him in the head... If you see how he was curl(ed) up on the ground. Them police too wicked,” were some of the statements residents made as they called on the powers that be to kick the officer out of the service.
There have been 24 deaths in police shootings for the year. None of the probes into these killings have been completed.
1. Janus Alphonso, 28, on January 10 at Chaguanas.
2. Walcott Ali, 51, on January 11 at Clarke Trace, Enterprise, Chaguanas.
3. Nicholas Sylvester, 19, on January 20 at Eighth Street, Barataria.
4. Kevon Charles, 26, on January 31 at Lange Park, Chaguanas.
5. Akeem Price, 22, on February 4 at Mayaro.
6. Anthony Hepurn, 29, on February 11 at Mt Moriah, Tobago.
7. Junior Noel, 31, on February 14 at Sookoo Trace, Claxton Bay.
8. Anderson Deo, 22, on February 14 at Chaguanas.
9. Jeremy Innis, 19, on March 10 at Chaguanas.
10. Adrian Charles, 24, on March 18 at Gloster Lodge, Gonzales.
11. Satrohan Ramhanie, 22, on March 26 at Xavier Street, off the Caroni Savannah Road, Chaguanas.
12. Anthony Hospedales, 18, on March 26 at McDonald Street Extension, Chinapoo, Morvant.
13. Jerome Clunis, 23, at McDonald Street Extension, Chinapoo, Morvant.
14. Gilbert Browne, 25, on March 27 at Chaguanas.
15. Naim Dean, 21, on April 11 at La Horquette Valley Road, Glencoe.
16. Roy Thomas, 29, on May 1 at Union Village Claxton Bay.
17. Chandrabhose Samaroo, 32, on May 5 at Fitz Trace, Charuma Forest, Biche.
18. Anthony Amogan, 43, on May 9 at La Paille Village, Caroni.
19. Antonio Swan, 21, on May 13 at Concerned Citizens Street, California.
20. Nigel Long, 35, on May 13 at Mahogany Trace, Bagatelle.
21. Dillon Mason, 20, on May 21 at Carapichaima.
22. Jerome Cross, 27, on May 22 at San Juan.
23. Joel Apparicio, 31, on May 22, at Real Street, San Juan.
24. Chaquille Mc Coy, 21, on June 5 at Mon Repos, Morvant.