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Cops cursed at van thief’s funeral

By Gyasi Gonzales gyasi.gonzales@trinidadexpress.com

FRIENDS and associates of 21-year-old Naim Dean, who was shot dead by police last week Friday night, about an hour after he stole a van at gunpoint, hurled obscenities at some police officers present at his funeral yesterday morning.

Dean, of La Horquette Valley Road, Glencoe, was killed around 7.30 p.m. on Friday when a vehicle he was in was intercepted by officers of the Rapid Response Unit. 

According to police reports, Dean and his friends were stopped by a party of Special Reserve Police (SRP)officers, but while Dean was being searched, he ran off. 

Police said they ran after him and while attempting to re-arrest him, he stabbed one of the officers who then shot him du­ring the melee. 

He later died on arri­val at the St James District Hospital. 

Dean’s relatives and friends however claimed he was killed in “cold blood” and that before he ran off, he was slapped by one of the officers.

About an hour and a half earlier before being intercepted by the police, Dean, armed with a 9 mm pistol, robbed a Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force soldier and his girlfriend of their nearly new Nissan Na­vara pick-up while the couple were parked in the Pt Cumana, Carenage, area.

The couple reportedly saw Dean’s photo in the Sunday Express, following which they went to the Carenage Police Station and said it was he who robbed them on Friday evening.

Jane Simon, Dean’s grandmo­ther, who is also an alderman with the Diego Martin Regional Corporation, spoke during the funeral, which took place at the St Peter’s RC Church in Carenage.

She said he was an avid lover of football but described when he was younger, his father, Ray Simon, had died of a massive heart attack, following which he became a very withdrawn child.

She said he had just a few friends and did not like to lime or party much.

“He seldom smiled but when he did, he lit up the entire village,” she told the congregation yesterday.

Monsignor Cuthbert Alexander, who delivered the homily, urged the congregation to draw strength from Christ during this holy week.

The Express was told by one of Dean’s relatives that the several police officers present at the funeral yesterday were there to show support for Dean’s stepfather, who is a police officer.

The Police Complaints Authority, as well as the St James Police, is continuing investigations into the young man’s shooting death, but an interim report has already been submitted to the Ag Commissioner of Police, Stephen Williams.

 
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