Thursday, January 18, 2018

Fiery protest after Diego killing

Residents angered by police shooting


BAGATELLE rage: Sister of Nigel Long, Lucilla, right, speaks to Inspector Wayne Mystar yesterday following the protest by residents of Bagatelle, Diego Martin over the shooting death of Long (inset), a 35-year-old father of three, who was killed by police on Tuesday night along Mahogany Trace, Bagatelle. —Photo: ISHMAEL SALANDY


Traffic was brought to a standstill for more than three hours yesterday morning as residents blocked the corner of Diego Martin Main Road and Bagatelle Road, setting fire to tyres and other debris, as they called for justice in the shooting 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.

According to police reports, at about 11.30 p.m. on Tuesday, a joint police/army patrol, comprising two policemen and two soldiers, was being conducted in Bagatelle when the officers observed Long sitting next to the roadway.

Upon seeing the patrol, Long stood up with both hands behind his back.

The officers called on Long to surrender but, as they approached him, the police report states that Long pulled out something that resembled a firearm and pointed it at the patrol unit.

One of the policemen, fearful for his life, drew his licensed firearm and shot at Long, hitting him multiple times about the body.

Long was then placed in the police vehicle and rushed to St James Health Facility, but was pronounced dead on arrival.

A .38 revolver with six rounds of ammunition was allegedly found in his possession.

However, residents of the area have firmly disputed this report, claiming the police opened fire on the father of three without reason or cause.

They said Long was one of the few “genuinely good men” in the area and he was not involved in any criminal activity.

They described his killing as unjust and took to the streets yesterday morning, blocking the main road.

“The police are making a set of false claims, but we were here, we saw what happened with our own eyes and, worse yet, we know the man they kill. Carwash wasn’t in anything illegal. He was too much of a coward for them things. We telling you that flat out!” exclaimed a resident.

“All he was concerned about was providing for his family, enjoying life, and jokes. He always laughing and trying to make you laugh. If the police claim they find something on him then, yes, I am telling you they found something, but it could only be a wash cloth. That’s all he ever has on him.

“So you see this killing here? We simply can’t let the police get away with this one. It is unjust, it is unfair, and the world needs to see how the police treating us here in Bagatelle,” the resident added.

Long’s sister, Lucilla, condemned the actions of the police on the scene, saying it “reeked of a cover-up”.

She pleaded with senior police officials, including public information officer Inspector Wayne Mystar, who was on the scene yesterday, for a proper and thorough investigation to be done.

“They shoot him last night. I wasn’t outside when it happened, but when I came out I saw them throw him in the van, kick him up, and then drive off. They never even speak to any of the family members last night. They just shoot him like a dog and drive away,” said Lucilla.

“It was only when I reached the infirmary last night and saw my brother in a body bag that a woman police officer then decided to ask me what was his name and age, and that was it. Not an offer of condolence, nothing. Just a cut and dry question,” she added.

The residents only dispersed at about 1 p.m. yesterday after they received an assurance from Mystar that the matter would be investigated properly.

“Let me assure you all that an investigation will be launched. That is our standard operating procedure once there is a shooting. And you have my assurance that an investigation will be launched, but until then, please, don’t block the roadways like this. If you must protest, do so peacefully. We understand the hurt you are feeling, but please protest peacefully,” Mystar said.

Due to the late time that Long’s body was brought to the Forensic Science Centre in St James, the family has to return today for an autopsy to be performed.

Investigations are continuing.