Mom of boy, 15, killed by police sues State

The Hall of Justice in Port of Spain. - JEFF K MAYERS
The Hall of Justice in Port of Spain. - JEFF K MAYERS

THE mother of a Tunapuna teenager has sued the State for compensation after he was shot and killed by a policeman the day after he complained of being harassed by police and allegedly slapped with numerous false charges.

Jeanette Ramsahai's son Josiah was killed on November 18, 2016, by a member of the Northern Division Task Force.

She filed a claim in the High Court, alleging the State is vicariously liable for the actions of the officer who shot and killed him. The officer shot him 17 times with his Galil automatic rifle.

Her lawsuit says the police officer deliberately killed her son and at the time there was no threat to the officer’s life, yet he used lethal force.

Filed by attorneys Lee Merry, David Francis and Ajesh Sumessar, the lawsuit contends there was no legal justification for the use of lethal force

It also says Josiah and his family were threatened, intimidated and harassed by the police.

In addition to abusing the judicial process, the police were also accused of causing the family distress and humiliation by kicking Josiah, laughing at him and not allowing relatives to see him before he died.

Ramsahai’s mother is seeking damages for the death of her son, loss of expectation of life, loss of earnings, funeral and related expenses and pain and suffering.

According to the claim, in 2016, members of the division allegedly started a campaign to harass and threaten Ramsahai and his family because of a dispute between them and the policeman’s sister.

In that year, on July 4, police shot at a car Josiah was in. On July 13, he was arrested and told he would get a shooting case. On October 5, the police officer named in the letter allegedly sneaked up on him and some friends at his home at Dookie Lane, Tunapuna, and fired shots in their direction.

Ramsahai made a report to the Police Complaints Authority the next day.

Amonth later, her son was killed by the same police officer they alleged was harassing them.

It added that on the day he was shot, Josiah went to the shop and was walking back home when they saw the officer. He was armed with a Galil rifle and started shooting in their direction. Josiah’s aunt said she saw the police move the boy's body over a fence and to the centre of an empty lot. Other officers were kicking Josiah while poking him with the gun.

She said when they were taking Josiah's body to the hospital, she begged to see him, but they made a fool of her by slowing down the vehicle, then speeding up when she got close.


"Mom of boy, 15, killed by police sues State"

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