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Pastor at funeral of 3 killed by police: Let our young men grow old

Published: 
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Mourners during the funeral service for Kareem Edwards, inset, top right, David Baker, centre, and Reuben Richins who were killed by police in Freeport last week Tuesday. PHOTO: MARYANN AUGUSTE

If society and the police do not stop the ideology of fighting fire with fire then there would be more funerals, according to Rev Kirby Jackson who delivered the homily at the funeral service for three men killed by police last Tuesday. Jackson, during his message at the La Horquetta Gospel Foundation, told mourners: “We have to stop glorifying things that are negative. Young men need to know that joining into gangs is wrong.

“Our police officers must know that even if our young men are going wrong or are doing something wrong they are not to be judge and jury but let justice take its course. “We must also understand that the days are really tough for law enforcement officers and sometimes when they walk into a community they are unsure of what they would meet. “There are some who believe they will fight fire with fire, all that will create is more anger within our people.” 

He said there were both good and bad elements in the La Horquetta community, having served in the area for the past five years. He called on young men to change their ways and turn their lives to God as society was “going down a pathway that is leading to destruction and spreading like a parasite.” He blamed some of the negativity in society on music which glorified illegal activity and gun violence, saying if he could, he would ban such songs. 

“It is time we let our sons grow old and die of old age. I challenge you young men to change your mentality.” Jackson was the officiating minister at the funeral service for th La Horquetta men—David “Junior” Baker, Baker’s nephew Kareem Edwards and Reuben Richins—who were killed at a house at Kurban Drive, Freeport, on Tuesday night. Police subsequently identified Baker as the man who shot Senior Counsel Dana Seetahal dead on May 4 at Woodbrook.

WHAT HAPPENED

According to police, Baker, 28; Edwards, 19; and their neighbour Richins, 23, were at a house at Kurban Ali Drive, Calcutta #2, Freeport, when they were shot. Members of the North Eastern Division Task Force went to the house in search of Baker, who had six outstanding warrants for murder and gun-related offences. Police said as they entered the house they were shot at and they returned fire, fatally wounding the men. 

The trio were all shot in the chest and taken to the Couva Health Facility where they were pronounced dead on arrival. Police said two bulletproof vests, a .38 revolver and a .45 pistol were recovered.