State sued over Laventille police-involved killing

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

THE common-law wife of one of the five people killed by police in a shooting in Laventille in 2018, has sued the State for “using lethal force in a deliberate attempt to kill him.”

Attorneys representing Whitney Pearalal, the common-law wife of Mechack Douglas, filed a claim for compensation alleging that police deliberately killed Douglas by shooting him although he, and the four others, were allegedly unarmed and posed no threat.

They also say they are entitled to aggravated damages for the distress suffered by Douglas, 22, on the day of his death. Douglas and the other men - Shakeem Francois, 15; Kadeem Phillip, 17; Shaundell St Clair, 20; and Nicholas Barker, 23 - were shot by officers of the Inter-Agency Task Force while playing cards in a yard in Trou Macaque on October 25.

In the aftermath of the shooting, police said they had been shot at and were returning fire, while relatives of the men contended they were shot in cold blood after having put their hands up and surrendering to the officers.

In August, the Police Complaints Authority, in a release, said its investigators had completed a preliminary investigation into the police-involved shooting and sent its recommendations to the Director of Public Prosecutions for further action.

Pearalal’s lawsuit said police taunted Douglas and, without warning or cause, shot him at point-blank range to the chest. Douglas was shot several times. The claim for compensation said Douglas’ rights to life and security of the person were infringed and she will seek a declaration that section 27 (2)(a) of the Supreme Court of Judicature Act is unlawful.


"State sued over Laventille police-involved killing"

More in this section