Avinash “Krysis” Seepersad, who police had described years ago as the leader of the Unruly Isis gang in Enterprise, Chaguanas, was shot dead at around midnight on Sunday.
But relatives say Seepersad, who was also known by the Muslim name Abdul Wakeel, was not a gang member.
They say he was walking along John Street, off Mano Street, Enterprise, when a car pulled alongside him and opened fire before driving off.
Police, responding to reports of gunshots in the area, found him face down on the side of the road. They took him to the Chaguanas District Health Facility where he died while being treated.
In a phone interview with Newsday, a relative said while he was “not perfect” he still did not deserve to die the way he did. She was disappointed with the way he is being portrayed in death.
“People are passing him off as a gang member when he wasn’t. It is even in the media,” she said.
“It is high-class bullying. It is a shame there isn’t a law for that in TT.”
Seepersad was arrested in 2017 after making homophobic remarks to police officers during a police exercise in Chaguanas.
He was also known for making irate videos and speaking about alleged corrupt police officers and gang members.
Seepersad, at a news conference, said he was not a member of the gang and, although he was seen and heard promoting violence in a 2016 music video, had changed his ways.
After making allegations against police and members of the community in 2017, he was visited by then national security minister Edmund Dillon on March 31, 2017.
Dillon confronted Seepersad about whether he was responsible for a spate of videos posted online which, Dillon said, had the entire country uneasy.”
Wakeel later admitted that he was the one in the videos and told Dillon he was willing to tell the authorities who the crooked police officers were and where the illegal guns were hidden on the condition that he received protection.