ONE month ago, the sister of Nigel "Black Boy" Caesar told him his friends would look at him lying dead in a pool of blood and laugh.
Caesar was found in a pool of blood yesterday, but his friends were not laughing.
The 23-year-old painter was shot dead by police who claimed they were acting in self-defence as Caesar had opened fire on them.
So angry were the residents of Hill View, John John, Laventille, over the killing that they threw pieces of wood, old appliances and other debris over the wall of the John John panyard, onto the Easter Main Road, Laventille.
The residents hurled obscenities at the police and, when they could get away with it, threw stones and other items at the officers who they were adamant went above and beyond the call of duty to murder their neighbour.
The chaos began to unravel just after 5 p.m. when Caesar returned from his job as a painter at the Housing Development Corporation (HDC) buildings on Old St Joseph Road. According to residents, Caesar was walking down a flight of stairs when the lawmen opened fire on him.
The neighbourhood said after Caesar fell into a nearby drain, another officer ordered his junior to "shoot him again". After numerous pleas by the residents for Caesar to be assisted, the officers "pick him up like a dog and throw him in the back of a jeep", residents said.
Officers, on the other hand, said they were patrolling the area when they were fired upon and returned fire. Caesar was hit and taken to the Port of Spain General Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival. Police claimed a 9 mm pistol was found on him.
Caesar's sister, who did not want to be named, said her brother was undeserving of a death like that.
"He was no saint; he was a gunman, but he didn't deserve to dead like that. He had no gun on him. I know my brother have gun.... He was a nice, loving person who would give his last to anybody."
Caesar's cousin Raquel Fraser screamed and shouted at the officers as they patrolled the area. "Allyuh too wicked," she exclaimed.
Backed by other residents, Fraser charged at the officers, accusing them of being ruthless in their tactics.
"All ah allyuh is one! Allyuh wicked! Allyuh wicked!" residents shouted as officers sought to maintain calm in the area.
Fraser shouted: "I know my cousin was in war. I didn't mind if gunman did kill him. I would nah get on so.... That ain't staying so."
Other residents promised they would be protesting and blocking off the roadway to ensure justice is served.
Traffic heading east was diverted from Independence Square, near Piccadilly Street, onto the Priority Bus Route.
Residents did not allow that to deter them however as they set fire to debris close to where Caesar was killed. Police who patrolled the area were called killers by the residents.
The Express saw a jeep-load of officers patrolling the area and heard an officer tell one resident who labelled the group murderers, "Yeah, we come to kill all ah allyuh tonight," adding fuel to the already tense situation.
Members of the regiment who went to the area fired warning shots, causing some residents to scamper for safety. The officers then left after residents became more irate. As they left the area, residents hurled big stones and bottles at the two jeep-loads of regiment officers.
Residents who cursed the regiment officers said they were angrier at the fact that they were shooting while little children were nearby.
One man in the midst of the chaos began shouting, "All little children go in yuh bed," a call that was not heeded.
Police promised last night to remain at the scene until law and order is maintained while residents promised to keep their protest going for the rest of the night.