sending off: Relatives weep following yesterday’s funeral service for police-shooting victim Chakuille McCoy at the St Dominic’s RC Church along Lady Young Avenue, Morvant. —Photo: ANISTO ALVES


Lay minister: People need to return to God

Police-shooting victim’s funeral

By \\\\\ Alexander Bruzual

A lay minister has said the country is currently “going through a time of stress” and incidents like the death of Chakuille McCoy should be recognised as a sign that people need to return to God.

One week after he was killed during an incident with police officers of the North Eastern Division, McCoy, a 21-year-old father of one, was laid to rest yesterday morning following a funeral service at the St Dominic’s RC Church along Lady Young Avenue, Morvant. 

During the homily, Brother Richard Lynch, the lay minister for the ceremony, offered several words of comfort to the grieving friends and relatives, noting that McCoy was now in a better place, and that only God should be the one to judge the persons involved in the incident for their actions.

However, Lynch also noted the country was currently “going through a time of stress” and incidents like McCoy’s death should be recognised as a sign that people need to return to God.

“When we look at what is happening, with all these murders and police killings in this country, we need to realise that we need to pray more,  we need to return to God, because it is only through him and through prayer that we will have the power to change this country for the better,” Lynch said.

At yesterday’s service, McCoy’s friend, Melissa Cassano, delivered the eulogy next to his cousin, Shanequa McCoy.

In her eulogy, Cassano recalled several of her favourite memories of the young father, including the fact that he was one of the most helpful persons she had ever met.

“He was just genuinely loving and caring and the most helpful and willing person in the community. Hands down. Especially during Christmas time, he was always helping someone paint their homes and always helping people move. He just loved to help out,” Cassano said. 

She recalled that when McCoy learned  he was going to be a father last year, he was so excited he always took every opportunity he got to remind everyone he met that he was about to have a daughter. 


The death of Chakuille McCoy ’s  is currently under investigation as there are two conflicting reports on the circumstances surrounding  the incident on June 5.

Police reported McCoy was part of a group of men who engaged in a shoot-out with officers of the North Eastern Division Task Force. However, residents have refuted this claim, insisting the officers killed McCoy in “cold blood” as he was working on a construction site in the area. The actions of residents on that day, by blocking roadways, led to stand-still traffic as commuters attempted to exit Port of Spain.


There have been 26 police killings for the year.

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