All evidence in police shootings secure


Acting CoP McDonald Jacob. –

The acting Commissioner of Police Mc Donald Jacob has assured that the police will preserving all evidence of the recent police-involved killing of three young men in Port of Spain.

Jacob also warned adverse pre-trial publicly can affect ongoing matters if they go to trial.

On Friday, attorney Om Lalla, representing one of three survivors of the shooting, wrote Jacob asking him to maintain and preserve all evidence required in legal proceedings.

“I have not yet read the letter. From what I read in the newspapers, he asked for the evidence to be preserved. I wish to say that is normal procedure of the police when doing criminal investigations,” Jacob said.

“At times, there are civil proceedings where evidence may be required, and we preserve the evidence. There are no worries.”

Isaiah Roberts and Leonardo Williams, both 17, and Fabien Richards, 21, were shot and killed in a police confrontation on July 2 at Independence Square, Port of Spain, near Republic Bank.

Three other people including Lalla’s 15-year-old client who was shot, were subsequently released by police even though officers claimed they were shot at and gun was found in the car. The teen was shot in the right arm and grazed on the abdomen and leg.

Autopsy reports of the three killed found that they were shot from behind.

The killings led to fiery protests for hours in Port of Spain on Monday, with residents burning debris and causing a massive traffic pile-up.

“If someone releases footage from their house, that is something else. But for police to ‘release’ information in a police investigation, what are some people really calling for?” Jacob asked.

“Some people in the society who know better, all they want to do is create havoc and confusion for political and other gains.”

Owing to the seriousness of the matter, Lalla said on Saturday he asked for the integrity of CCTV footage from police cameras and surrounding businesses be preserved.

He also called for investigators to preserve all body camera recordings, ballistic reports from the police, forensic reports of the deceased people, evidence of the directions of the shots fired into the car, medical records of the occupants and station diary reports.

The four-page letter was copied to the director of the Police Complaints Authority David West.

According to Lalla, his client is severely traumatised and has suffered serious injuries.

“A robust, thorough and swift investigation must be undertaken by your officer to determine if there has been wrongdoing by members of the TTPS.

“Anything short of this will only inflame an already volatile nation concern of growing lack of confidence by the public in the TTPS,” the letter said.

Robert’s funeral took place on Friday at Simpson’s Funeral Chapel, Eastern Main Road in Laventille. The funerals for Williams and Richards are set for Monday.

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