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All we want is justice say angry residents

Published: 
Wednesday, February 21, 2018

The youths of East Port-of-Spain have made a pact to stand up together against the police officers they maintain killed Akel “Christmas” James in cold blood.

This was evident yesterday, the day after their protest over James’ killing brought east Port-of-Spain to a standstill.

Another resident, Qhe Baisden, 39, was also shot in the leg during the protest action.

As the T&T Guardian walked along a narrow street linking to Basilon Street yesterday, near to where Monday’s fatal shooting took place, a young man pulled the curtain of one of his windows and shouted: “We want justice for Christmas…that’s all we want.”

A few metres away, a group of youths were seen along a track gambling, smoking and liming.

One of them, only a few minutes before, had informed the T&T Guardian that they were allegedly beaten up by police officers yesterday.

However, when contacted on this claim, police would only disclose that they did confront a group of men from the area whilst on patrol and after a brief altercation they arrested one. It was not revealed why the man, in his 20s, was arrested.

“The police come back in for us and beat us up…it not too long happen,” one of the young men said.

Asked if the rest of them would report the alleged treatment handed down by police, the young man just shook his head, pointed at the group of men and walked off.

Another young man from the area said the youths in the area intended to keep together as “one movement” in their future actions, especially with police.

“When one move, the entire group of them will move. When one go in, all go in…when one is accosted by police, well the police will have to face all of them…this is the pact they have made.

“You touch one, you touch all. That’s why all of them came out in their numbers on Monday and blocked the roads and protested Christmas’ death,” the young man said.

At about 8 am yesterday, the said group of youths from Basilon Street and close environs again placed debris across the roadway and lit it afire. However, a truckload of T&T Defence Force members quickly responded and extinguished the blaze and removed the debris.

Life at Basilon Street and adjoining streets, including Observatory Street, also seemed to have resumed to normalcy yesterday after Monday’s chaos.

There were several marked police vehicles also seen patrolling. The few residents seen walking the roadways also had either little or nothing to say.

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