The month of January is normally filled with the joys of expectation, as families and individuals look forward to new beginnings and new hopes.
However, for the family of Kwame “Nickel” Bourne, it’s a month of pain, suffering and bitter memories, as it was the month he was wrongfully shot dead, allegedly, by police at his Crown Trace, Enterprise home.
Three years ago, on January 20, 2011, the 25-year-old father of two was killed while sleeping by four masked officers who were part of a large contingent of police that swooped down on the area around 12.30 a.m.
Police said Bourne was a suspect in the 2010 killing of Acting Superintendent Joel Nedd. They also claimed Bourne fired at them when they surrounded the house he was in and in defence, they returned fire.
Those allegations were refuted by family and friends who said Bourne was not involved in anyone’s death nor was he hiding out since he was slain in his own home.
He was described as a quiet young man who usually kept to himself and was well-loved and respected by all in the community.
What followed was a couple days of protest action that began with the burning of tyres and culminated with a marched to the Chaguanas Police Station, where family members and friends demanded justice.
Assistant Commissioner of Police, Fitzroy Frederick, told Express there was no record of a warrant being issued for Bourne's arrest nor was he a person of interest, as far as he was aware.
At the time of his death Bourne operated as a clothes vendor who owned a booth at the Chaguanas Vendors Mall.
His mother, Louise Albarado, who resides in the United States, said her son hustled in the rain and sun on the streets of Chaguanas to provide for his family before being awarded a booth, adding that she was in the process of putting together a shipment of clothes when she received the news that he was killed.
Bourne’s uncle, Peterson Bourne, who described his nephew’s death as murder, said he cannot understand how those sworn to protect and serve can jump someone back wall in the middle of the night and execute an innocent man who was asleep at the time.
His girlfriend, Candace Esdelle, recalls him as being an ambitious young man who had dreams of opening a clothing store.
And Hayden Millet, one of Bourne peers, said he was a loving individual who provided clothes and food to those in need.
Millet added that if you went to Bourne and told him you didn’t have a pair of sneakers he would go so far as to give you his own.
When Bourne met his demise he was finalising plans for the community’s annual small goal football tournament, an event he conceptualised to encourage the young people of Enterprise to engage themselves in positive activities.
His death is now under investigation by the Police Complaint Authority, however, his family fears that like many other similar cases, the wheels of justice will be slow and may very well not turn in their favour.