A domestic dispute call to police deteriorated into a police-involved fatal shooting, early yesterday morning, resulting in the death of 31-year-old Allister Pierre. The electrician was shot dead after police attempted to arrest him on robbery and malicious wounding charges shortly after responding to the domestic dispute.
But as the Professional Standards Bureau (PSB) and the Police Complaints Authority (PCA) look into the fatal shooting Pierre’s relatives including his wife, spoke out against the shooting, claiming police executed the warrant on the wrong man.
Pierre’s wife Akesha Allicock recounted the series of events which led to his death, yesterday in an interview with Newsday. The wife said at about 1 am, she and Pierre got into an argument and she left their Brazil Trace, San Raphael home to “cool off”. During that time she called police officers, in an attempt to quell the argument.
“I called them just to come and talk to him and dissolve our little quarrel,” she said. “When the police came and spoke to him I came back.”
After the argument the police left. But minutes after they police officers returned, claiming they had a warrant for Pierre’s arrest.
Allicock told Newsday Pierre asked that they police allow to put some clothes on, and they did, but things began to deteriorate when Pierre asked about the warrant.
“He asked what the warrant was about and where the warrant was. The police said ‘don’t study that, all you need to know is that we have a warrant’ Then he said he is not going because they could not tell him what the warrant was about. They tried to take him in and he resisted. After he started resisting they began to beat him,” the wife said.
“He asked them to stop beating him and said he would stop resisting. But they didn’t want to stop. He asked for a call and they said no call. After a while they started to get fed up of him and they shot him. They shot him in his neck and chest. He fell to the ground and after that I saw them holding him by his neck. When I saw him bleeding on the ground I knew that it was the last for him.”
A police report gave a different account of the incident.
Police said at about 2.50 am, officers from the Northern Division responded to a domestic dispute from the Command Centre. When they got there, they were attacked by the suspect, identified as Pierre. During the attack, police shot Pierre.
He was taken to the hospital where he died while receiving medical attention.
Two officers – PCs Garcia and Julien – were also injured in the incident. Julien suffered superficial injuries, while Garcia’s arm was broken. The two officers were also treated for their injuries.
Police claimed that Pierre had a warrant for malicious wounding, and was known for house-breaking, larceny, robbery and sexual offences, but relatives said he had no such warrants. Newsday was told by a reliable source police made a call to the Command Centre and received information that a person with a similar name to Pierre’s had warrants, which prompted them to return to the house and arrest him.
Speaking with Northern Division Supt Mcdonald Jacob, Newsday was told that all police-involved shootings were investigated by the Professional Standards Bureau and the Police Complaints Authority. He added that the police officers were acting within their rights to arrest Pierre, in accordance with the Criminal Law Act.
“I cannot say, (if warrant was executed on the wrong man) that is not to my knowledge at this point in time,” Jacob said, “If the police have reasonable cause to believe that a person has committed an arrestable offence, whether they have a warrant or not, they can arrest the person. If after they find out that the person was not the person had nothing to do with the offences then they will release him. But if you resist arrest and you attack police whether you are the person suspected of the offence or not, it does not give him a right to commit the act of attacking the police.”
According to parts 4 and 5 of section 3 of the Criminal Law Act, if a police officer: “with reasonable cause, suspects that an arrestable offence has been committed, he may arrest without warrant anyone whom he, with reasonable cause, suspects to be guilty of the offence... A police officer may arrest without warrant any person who is, or whom he suspects to be, about to commit an arrestable offence.”
Jacob advised that family members forward a statement to the PCA and PSB.