Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Diego residents block road again

Protests continue against police shooting in Bagatelle...

For the second time in three days, residents of Bagatelle, Diego Martin blocked access to Diego Martin Main Road with burning tyres and debris, as they protested the death of 35-year-old Nigel Long.

Long, also known as “Nathaniel” and “Carwash”, was killed on Tuesday night by a police officer of the Western Division, after he allegedly raised a firearm to the policeman.

However, residents have denied that the father of three had any weapons on him and they claim that the police officer killed Long “in cold blood”.

Dissatisfied with the progress of investigations and claiming that they have been “harassed” by police patrols in the area since Tuesday night, residents once again took to Diego Martin Main Road to protest the “lack of faith” they had in the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service. 

“They harassing us for the past two nights now. They interfering with us and goading us, and if we react, they arresting us,” exclaimed one resident who refused to give his name.

“Look this morning these officers came down on us and arrested two men who were protesting. They come and rough up other men in the area as well. But the reason we are protesting is because of them! So what are we supposed to do? Sit back and take licks like a bobolee? And all the while they abuse us and try to sweep Nigel death under the rug? Nah! Not at all! We are not dogs and we will not be treated like animals!” he added.

Among the officers who visited the scene yesterday was Assistant Commissioner Stephen Ramsubhag, who spoke to residents and assured them that there would be a “fair and transparent” investigation.

Speaking to the Express shortly after, Ramsubhag revealed that he told residents that a Superintendent of Police (Saisnarine Mahabir of the Mounted and Canine Branch) had been appointed to the case by Acting Commissioner Stephen Williams within hours of Long’s killing and he assured them a thorough investigation will be conducted.

He also informed residents that he had personally requested that an interim report on the incident be brought to him by Monday from head of the division, Senior Superintendent Ishmael David. 

An autopsy performed on Thursday by pathologist Dr Valery Alexandrov showed Long was shot four times.

Long had three wounds to the chest and one defence wound to the right wrist, Alexandrov said, therefore he was facing the gun that shot him. 

Investigations are continuing.