Sunday, February 25, 2018

Insp: Victim said teens were chasing him

Inspector Roger Alexander of the North Eastern Division Task Force is standing firmly behind the officers in his division who were involved in the killing of Hakeem Alexander, 16, and Tevin Alexander, 15, on Monday afternoon.

Speaking to the Express yesterday, Alexander, who is also vice-president of the Police Social and Welfare Association, said he was shocked when he awoke yesterday morning to see various media houses had focused their reports on what was said by the relatives of the slain teenagers without a “proper balance” on the report of the incident from the police.

“It was amazing to wake up this morning to see so many media reports brandishing the officers involved in this incident as murderers, when the information we have on this incident paints a completely different picture.

“It causes one to appreciate the digital age we live in because the initial information and communication we have on this report came from the police command centre, so there will be recor­dings and transcripts of what the officers were getting themselves into.

“We were told that several armed men were shooting at persons in the Morvant area and that several persons armed with guns were entering homes in the area. That information leads to a crucial report that all media houses seemed to have missed, that these men were chasing after a victim and that they had even cornered the victim in a house and was shooting at him when the police arrived.

“The officers, on assessing that the report they received was true, confronted these men as they exited a house. Both men brandished what appeared to be firearms during that confrontation and the officers responded to that threat. It is unfortunate that life was lost, but at the same time, the officers were simply defending themselves,” Alexand­er said.

He then explained that after the teenagers were shot, the victim even exited the house and identified himself before identifying the two teenagers as the people who were chasing him.

“The focus in the media seemed to have been the side of the relatives of the deceased. That’s understandable to a point. Because when you cross that point, it comes across as biased.”

—Alexander Bruzual