Because of the shootings of 26 civilians by police officers for this year alone, a few people have been criticising the police for being too callous, too murderous and too sweaty. What these critics fail to realise is that it takes two to kill—the killer and the killed. The majority of right-thinking Trinis, however, have been pointing to the poor choices made by the killed persons which forced the police to kill them: and, today, so will I.
First, all the killed persons, like 19-year-old Nicholas Sylvester who was shot dead on January 20, chose to be poor. But being rich is a much better decision: not only can you afford extra-soft toilet paper but, even if you are a criminal, you can never be convicted in any court in Trinidad and Tobago. That’s the law.
Secondly, having chosen to be poor, like 26-year-old Kevon Charles who was shot dead on January 31, most of the killed persons made the even poorer choice to be born in Laventille, Morvant, Beetham, and Sea Lots. They failed to realise that it’s never too early to start making right choices, and if 22-year-old Akeem Price had chosen to be born in Westmoorings, he would not have been shot dead on February 4.
Still, if you’re going to be born poor, you should not also choose, as 29-year-old Anthony Hepburn who was shot dead on February 11 did, to be born male.
A poor female at least has the opportunity to be a security guard or a skettel. But a poor male cannot get a skettel to even smile at him, except mockingly. And if he’s gay, according to Leroy Clarke aka LeRoy Clarke aka Le Roi Clarke aka Chief Ifa’ Oje’ Won Yomi Abiodun, he will be forced to become a gang member and wear mascara that doesn’t match his skin tone.
Nonetheless, men like 31-year-old Junior Noel and 22-year-old Anderson Deo still chose to be male and were shot dead last Valentine’s Day, instead of listening to religious leaders and feminists who say that everyone chooses their gender.
Having made these two bad choices, killed men like 19-year-old Jeremy Inniss and 24-year-old Adrian Charles then sealed their fate by choosing to be black as well. In T&T, that’s pretty much the “three strikes and you’re shot” rule.
So 18-year-old Anthony Hospedales and 24-year-old Adrian Charles would not have been shot dead in March if they had chosen their ancestors better. And 23-year-old Jerome Clunis must have known that the regulations in the Police Service manual left officers with no choice but to shoot him dead, not wounded.
From this list, you would have already noted the next bad choice made by almost all these killed men—being young. So, although it could have saved their lives, 21-year-old Naim Dean and 25-year-old Gilbert Brown decided not to be older, maybe 30 to 35 years.
On the other hand, 32-year-old Chandrabose Samaroo and 43-year-old Anthony Armogan and 35-year-old Nigel Long were shot dead in May: so maybe it’s best to choose to be 80 years just to be on the safe side. Though even then retired deputy police commissioner Mervyn Richardson might have manhandled you, especially if you’re a woman.
Still, choosing to be between 15 to 24 years of age is simply asking for the police to kill you dead, and the officers didn’t refuse the request made this week by 16-year-old Hakeem Alexander and 15-year-old Tevin Alexander, who were not only black and young and poor, but running.
Yes, you read that right: running! So what choice, really, did the police have?