ON Tuesday night John John, Laventille, was tense, as police and soldiers clashed with residents following the shooting death of 23-year-old Nigel Caesar.
Officers fired shots. Residents threw stones and expletives. Debris was burnt.
Yesterday, however, was a different scenario—burnt bits of debris the only reminder of Tuesday night's fiery face-off.
Life in John John had returned to normal. "This is the calm after the storm," a resident, who requested anonymity, told the Express in John John yesterday.
A visit by acting Police Commissioner Stephen Williams was the reason for the transition. Williams, Deputy Police Commissioner Mervyn Richardson and Chief of Defence Staff Brigadier Kenrick all visited the area yesterday.
Speaking to the Express in a telephone interview afterward, Williams said he visited John John in an attempt to appease the residents. He promised a thorough investigation into Caesar's death.
"Our position is straightforward. Whenever there is any incident involving police officers, it is our intention to do thorough investigations to ensure that if our police personnel did anything wrong, we unearth the necessary evidence and we deal with the matter in accordance with the law.
"At this point in time, we cannot comment in relation to whether anything wrong was done, but the community is aggrieved and if the community is aggrieved and has concerns then we need to address those concerns," Williams said.
Williams called for witnesses of Caesar's death to come forward.
"So we have given them the assurance that a thorough investigation will be conducted into the matter and if there are witnesses who are willing to support what they would have seen, we have given them the assurance that they will be interviewed and statements recorded," he said.
"We do not intend to cover up anything. We intend to ensure fairness is brought to bear on all situations, and if any officer is culpable for wrongdoing we will honour the evidence to prosecute the officers; but if they are not responsible for wrongdoing, we need to be able to clear the officers in relation to those incidents," Williams said.
Williams yesterday described his meeting with Caesar's family as "positive".
Caesar's aunt, Patsy Fraser, echoed Williams's sentiments.
"I feel good that the Police Commissioner would come here and talk to us. It was a big step by him and I appreciate it," Fraser said during an interview at her family's home yesterday.
"We were on the way to the Police Complaints Authority to report this situation, but when Mr Williams came I felt like he was willing to hear what we had to say and that makes us feel good," she said.
Fraser said she was given personal contact numbers for the country's two highest top cops, Williams and Richardson.
An autopsy on Caesar's body is scheduled to take place today at the Forensic Science Centre, St James, Fraser said.
Once the autopsy is completed in time, Caesar is expected to be laid to rest today under Muslim rites, Fraser said.