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Father of three killed by police
Five minutes after kissing his 11-month old son, Njisane, and telling him goodbye, 34-year-old Jamel Ecliff Charles was shot and killed by police. Charles, who was killed less than ten metres from his home on Saturday night, was the 31st person to be killed by police this year. Members of the North Eastern Division Task Force said police, led by Sgt Cornelius Samuel, received information of armed suspects involved in illegal narcotics transactions at Goose Lane, El Socorro.
Police said they encountered three suspects, two of whom began running, while a third, Charles, in a bid to escape, fired several shots from his illegal firearm at the police vehicle. They said though no police officers were injured, the police vehicle was hit during the exchange. The officers said they returned fire and Charles was injured. Police recovered a Glock 40 Calibre pistol with several rounds of ammunition at the scene.
Charles, a Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) employee for the past five years, was taken to Eric Williams Medical Science Complex where he succumbed to his injuries and died. Charles’ common-law wife, Nayo Mitchell cried continously yesterday as she recalled the final moments of her husband’s life. She said she had spoken to her husband five minutes before he was shot when she went to a parlour to buy bread and juice with her toddler Njisane.
“He walked me to the shop and when we were coming back, he stopped by the corner and was playing with Njisane. He patted his pampers and said it was wet,” Mitchell said. She said her husband stayed behind to talk to another young man in the neighbourhood while she took the child indoors, where her two other children, 14-year-old Mickel and Jaheim, 12, were. “Five minutes later I heard gunshots and grabbed my boys and pulled them to the floor. I thought the shots were inside. They were so loud. I was afraid to go outside.”
She said she went outside when she heard neighbours talking and saw police officers. “I heard them say “go with him” and I went and asked the officers what was going on as my husband had been on the corner. They just told me it was a crime scene and I had to stay back.” Up until yesterday, Mitchell had not received any information from police officers and was still waiting for her house keys which Charles had in his pocket. She challenged the police’s version of events.
“What firearm? I never knew him to have any firearm. He was just playing with his baby,” she cried. Mitchell said she would be reporting the incident to the Police Complaints Authority today, after receiving the autopsy from the Forensic Science Centre. “Why must they (the police) do something like that and always get away with it? They are wicked. they just left three children without a father.” She said her middle son, Jaheim had not spoken a word since his father’s death.
“He refuses to speak to me and he won’t stop crying. My baby (Njisane) has a fever and got sick immediately.” “They killed my husband and up to now they have not told me why.” Police said Charles was previously charged for possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking, shooting with intent and abusive language.