SOCIAL ACTIVIST Ishmael Samad yesterday protested outside the Police Administration Building in Port of Spain to raise awareness of the increasing number of people killed by police.
Samad, who stayed outside the building located on Sackville Street, said:
"I am here to inaugurate the commemoration of a day of remembrance for the innocent victims of police brutality and every year I will be here."
He added that Trinidad and Tobago was his home and his space and therefore he must defend it.
Samad had originally intended to have a 12-hour protest from 6 a.m but was denied by police. Not to be deterred, Samad took to the streets with 29 laminated names and dates of those killed by police along with a placard of the names of five people killed by police in Wallerfield in 2007.
The five are Lincoln Forde, Hayden Goddard, Glen Liverpool, Jordan Charles, and Wendy Courtney. Nine police officers—Sgt Garvin Simon; Corporals Kevin Greene and Anthony Craig; Constables David Madeira, Derrick Lake, Ishmael Pitt, Wisden Rajcoomar, Anthony Williams and Lyndon Mascall, were all cleared of any wrongdoing by magistrate Gail Gonzales at the end of a Coroner's Inquest on July 1, 2009.
Samad, who compiled a list of newspaper articles about police killings in a book entitled Oh Gord Doh Shoot Meh Nah, made headlines when he attempted to make a citizen's arrest on former Urban Development Corporation of Trinidad and Tobago (UDeCOTT) chairman Calder Hart, on April 14, 2010.
Samad introduced himself as "Sledge" when approached by officers yesterday who asked him to remove the laminated names he had stuck to the wall of the Central Police Station as it constituted defacing public property.
Samad was joined by Lynette Dyette and Avril Pitt, the mother and friend of Derreon Dyette, who was shot and killed by police on July 8 during a shootout with police. The women said they were alerted to Samad's protest through the media and came in solidarity.
Dyette said she falls sick every time she thinks of her son, who she claimed was murdered after attempting to surrender to police. She added that since her son's death at the hands of the police her other son has been threatened and is fearful that he too would be killed by the lawmen.
She said she had been having a "very hard time with the police" since her son's death.