AN INQUEST is the best forum to test the credibility of new information given by a witness 11 years after police killed three of his friends in Morvant, according to Police Association president Insp Gideon Dickson.
In a telephone interview, Dickson said on Monday the coroner's court "will determine what is fact and what is fiction, and dispense justice."
He was responding to questions after a Newsday investigation into a fatal police killing which took place on October 1, 2009. Police had initially identified the witness as one of the dead men in the June 27, 2020 incident in which police shot dead Joel Jacobs, Noel Diamond and Israel Clinton.
Dickson also questioned the authority of the Police Complaints Authority to launch an investigation, saying the first shootings took place before the PCA came into existence in 2010.
Told that the witness to the 2009 incident only came forward after police had identified him as one of the men they had shot dead on June 27 in Second Caledonia, Dickson said it appeared his emergence was convenient as the inquest is coming up for hearing next month.
"If the police really wanted to kill Codi Alves ,he would not have been telling this story at this point in time," Dickson said.
He said the witness coming forward was "even troubling and provoking, to think this new information only coming out when the inquest is coming up for hearing."
Alves, 40, claimed he was with three other men – Joel Romain, Akee Caballero and Kerwyn Joseph – when police opened fire on their car as it turned into Second Caledonia. He claimed the jeep drove alongside the car and the police continued shooting.
The car, driven by Caballero, crashed and he said the officers opened the doors and continued shooting but miraculously he was not hit.
Alves said he pretended to be dead and was thrown into the back of a jeep with the three other men. On the way to the Port of Spain General Hospital, he said, the officers stopped near the Lady Young Lookout after they saw one of the men still breathing and shot the injured man twice in the head.
Alves said he only revealed he was still alive in the mortuary, where doctors and nurses were around, and police tried to take him away to kill him, but medical personnel protested.
He was charged with possession of two illegal guns and shooting at the police,, among other charges, but they were dismissed after the officer who charged him failed to attend court.
The PCA has opened a murder enquiry based on the account Alves gave last Friday and whether there was an attempt to cover up the alleged offence by police officers.
Investigators are trying to corroborate the testimony given by Alves before approaching the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions for advice.
Officers assigned to the North Eastern Divisional Task Force were involved in the 2009 shooting incident. Official records show that Sgt Roger Alexander was initially assigned to investigate it.
On Sunday, this newspaper contacted Alexander to seek seeking his views on the new information in the 2009 matter. He asked this reporter to call him back.
He did not answer several later calls placed to his cellphone, nor text and WhatsApp messages.
On the Beyond the Tape programme on TV6 on Monday, Alexander, now an assistant superintendent, suggested that the newspaper was fabricating information about the 2009 matter.
He said because it was before an inquest, the media "must stay away from it."
Alexander said on Monday he did not respond to the questions sent by Newsday because he was not familiar with this reporter's name.