Investigations into Morvant killings continue

Police keep protesters at bay on the Eastern Main Road in East Port of Spain on June 30 as tempers flared over police killings in Morvant on June 27. - Jeff Mayers
Police keep protesters at bay on the Eastern Main Road in East Port of Spain on June 30 as tempers flared over police killings in Morvant on June 27. - Jeff Mayers

Relatives of the three men who were shot dead by police in Morvant on June 27 are leaving everything in the hands of the almighty, as police continue investigations.

On June 27, Joel Jacob, Israel Clinton and Noel Diamond were shot dead by police in Second Caledonia, Morvant. Almost two months later, police have not yet brought the investigation to a close.

Relatives of Joel Jacob and Israel Clinton said they were contacted by police who said they were working assiduously to find out the circumstances surrounding the deaths.

“I spoke to the officer investigating the shootings and because I got an idea of how thorough he can be, I am waiting to see how it goes,” said a relative of Clinton.

Clinton’s relative said investigators contacted them a few weeks ago and took statements from her and others who visited the Forensic Science Centre in St James to identify his body.

Relatives of Joel Jacob said the police officer visited them last month – exactly a month after Jacob's death. Newsday was told the police officer expressed concern because at the time weeks had passed and the family had not been offered any therapy or counselling and shortly after they were visited by counsellors.

The fact remains that three men were killed, which has left a void in the families of each of them.

Clinton’s relatives said the pain is most felt by his three children, one a six-year-old, another a year old, and the third under a year.

Relatives said Clinton’s six-year-old daughter is still in denial over his death, and tells family on a regular basis that she does not believe he is dead, but will wake up and speak to them.

“She still asks to call him,” the relative said. “It will take a while for her to realise that he is not coming back.

"It is a shame that his younger children will not grow up knowing him.”

Jacob’s mother, who did not wish to be named, said despite the interruptions of the election and the ongoing covid19 pandemic, she does not intend to let the matter go cold. She said she sometimes breaks down in tears in the middle of the night when she thinks of her son’s death.

“Those police officers did not live up to their oath to protect and serve,” she said. “I don’t know what got into them, for them to move so drastically.”

On June 27, hours after a police officer was killed, police said they had cause to stop a gold Nissan Tiida hatchback, and one of the occupants, sitting in the back seat, drew a weapon, prompting them to fire at the three men.

But later, video footage of the incident began circulating on social media. One video appeared to show the police stopping the care in which the men were travelling. They put their hands out of the car, and Joel Jacob, got out with his hands in the air.

He spoke with a police officer for a moment, then the police appeared to start shooting.

The shootings and subsequent release of the video footage sparked a three-day protest as residents of Eastern Port of Spain blocked roads with burning debris and marched through the streets, shouting, “Don’t shoot.”

During the protests a pregnant 30-year-old woman, Ornella Greaves, was also shot dead. Investigations into her death are also ongoing.

Up to press time, no file on the killings had been forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecutions.


"Investigations into Morvant killings continue"

More in this section