Police file on fatal triple police killing go to DPP

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Political Leader of the PDP Watson Duke leaves the offices of Commissioner of Police McDonald Jacob alongside relatives of the victims at the Police Administration Building, Sackville Street Port of Spain. Photo by Roger Jacob

INVESTIGATORS into the shooting deaths of three people killed by police on July 2 will visit the Director of Public Prosecutions on Friday as the matter is coming closer to an end.

This was confirmed by acting Police Commissioner Mc Donald Jacob who on Thursday met with relatives of the three killed along with political leader of the Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) Watson Duke. Also in attendance was acting DCP Wendell Williams and PDP’s Deputy Leader for Trinidad Kezel Jackson.

Jacob said Williams spoke with the parents of Leonardo Williams, Lucky Joseph and Leo Williams along with the mother of Fabien Richards, Nicole Richards. Relatives of Isaiah Roberts were absent as they were called away on a family emergency.

During the impromptu meeting, which Jacob said was “cordial”, the group the investigative process was explained to them. Jacob said he told the relatives that the police’s Victim and Support Unit will continue to assist them with counselling and other assistance needed.

Duke met with the parents at the scene of the killing on Independence Square with a group of his supporters and walked to the Police Administration Building where they met with Jacob.

Last Friday, National Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds accused protesters of being paid by a political party. This was days after Sea Lots and Beetham residents blocked off the east and west bound lanes of the Beetham Highway and the Priority Bus Route when they protested the triple killing on July 4.

Some of the protesters wore PDP jerseys, asked if he paid protesters, Duke said: “I dismiss mister Hinds, he is not worthy of comment. He is not worthy to be around decent people that is why they throw water on him and get him out of Beetham.”

When asked if he or any of his executive members paid protesters, Duke said he was not answering that question and described this reporter as a “rookie journalist.”

Richards interrupted saying that no one was paid to protest by those who came out and did so in hope of getting justice for the three killed. She, along with other relatives of the men killed, returned to the scene of the shooting, lit candles and called for swift action for what she and other considered murder. She and the others vowed to keep the issue alive by routinely returning to the scene to hold a peaceful demonstration.

Asked for his response on him using the deaths of the three for political mileage, Duke said: “I am a politician, that I am not divorced from. Those who claim to be politicians are really magicians. They are here now and you can’t find them again like Houdini. They always appear around political time and around this time of trouble they disappear.”

Williams said without Duke the families had no voice and Duke stood for the families when no one else would. He was supported by Joseph who emphasised that no one received any money from Duke or any political entity.

Duke said the families deserve justice and he hired prominent attorneys to assist the family in achieving this but was not willing to divulge their name.

“Politicians must put people before politics. Where is Hinds? Where is the next rasta one? All of them in these depressed areas are trying to grow ras, the next one (Keith) Scotland, all of these (people) are fake and phonies. They claim to represent the people but when the people need them where are they?”

He added that he is present while the others are not and he wants to see change in the country and now is time for that.

On July 2, police killed 1 7-year-olds Leonardo “Naldo” Williams and Isaiah Roberts and Fabien Richards 21 after the three allegedly shot at them. Their autopsies said all three were shot from behind.

Three others who were in the car and contradicted the police version of events were uninjured except for a 15-year-old who was shot in the arm and grazed on abdomen and leg.

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