N Touch
Thursday 16 August 2018
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Protest after deaf, mute shot

LESS than 12 hours after Basilon Street resident Akeil “Christmas” James was shot dead by police, another man was wounded by officers after they attempted to disperse a crowd of protesters who were in the process of setting up barricades along Bath Street.

According to reports, sometime before 3.30 pm, 39-year-old Akiel Baisden a deaf, mute was shot in his left leg by a stray bullet from officers, as he was attempting to cross the street. Baisden’s wounding only fuelled tempers even further, as residents continued to block the streets and hurled insults at police officers.

Officers took Baisden to the Port of Spain General Hospital where he is undergoing treatment.

Akiel’s brother Aleem who is also said to be differently abled could be seen near the site where his brother was shot, weeping as residents attempted to console him.

Newsday spoke to several residents yesterday who said they were deeply concerned over Baisden’s shooting and claimed this was one example of how careless officers were during confrontations with civilians.

“This man wasn’t even a part of our protest, he was just crossing the road and then he was shot.

“So you could be minding your own business and a police can shoot you?”

For almost two hours, both residents and police were locked in a stand-off with officers from the Port of Spain Division and the IATF as residents continued in their fiery protest.

At around 4.30 pm, members of the TT Regiment were called in an attempt to pacify residents and restore order to the scene.

Assisted by officers of the IATF, the soldiers could be seen scaling the hill and securing positions along the way, while officers cleared debris and extinguished fires.

Newsday spoke to several residents yesterday who said they were deeply concerned over Baisden’s shooting and claimed this was one example of how careless officers were during confrontations with civilians.

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