Relatives of T&T teens killed by police demand answers on claim boys were armed
(Trinidad Express) Relatives of Carifta medallist Hakeem Alexander, 16, and his 15-year-old cousin, Tevin Alexander, who were both killed on Monday by police, are maintaining the two teenagers were innocently killed by the same police officers to whom they were attempting to surrender themselves on their knees.
“That what I saw here today in that autopsy room. Those two young boys lying on that table with gunshot wounds to their faces, their heads, and shoulders. That was not even a brutal police killing. It was heinous. Those two defenceless boys were heinously killed by the same officers they were running towards, trying to seek help from.
“The way those two boys are riddled up with bullets, I can’t even put in words the emotions that I am feeling right now, especially since I know that it was policemen, men who are sworn to protect the citizens in this country, who did that,” Tevin’s mother, Lisa De Leon-Alexander, said yesterday morning at the Forensic Science Centre in St James.
Leon-Alexander continued to maintain that contrary to the police report that the teenagers were shot at by the officers because they had firearms in their hands, the young men were actually kneeling on the ground, with both hands in the air, pleading with the lawmen for their lives.
“Whatever dreams or aspirations they had died when they died yesterday at the hands of the people who swore to protect and serve them. The people who they ran to for protection are the same people who kill them. They were running to go home to my mother because someone with a gun was chasing after them. They were the victims in this. They see police and they throw themselves to the ground on their knees, hoping the officers would protect them. Instead they get killed for their efforts.
“And then the police want to claim that these two boys, with their hands in the air, were holding firearms? And that they had to kill them because they were protecting themselves? That’s just not true. How does one protect themselves against two unarmed teens? They also say they got guns on them? When they had nothing on the scene, and even when we reached hospital they still had nothing on them? I want to see where these guns were. Because I can’t see how that story adds up. Our relatives and neighbours saw these boys on their knees, with hands in the air, begging, you hear me, begging for their lives, yet the police are claiming that somehow, throughout all this, these boys were shooting at them and had guns in their hands? That just doesn’t add up to me,” Leon-Alexander said.
Hakeem’s mother, Suzette Alexander, repeatedly called for an investigation into the deaths, although she said she did not believe there would be a fruitful outcome. “All I hearing on the media last night was people saying the senior police gonna do an investigation. That’s not going to bring back our children, you know.
“We want to know what happened at the end of the day. But we don’t have faith that it would be a fruitful investigation. And you would think that now children are among the statistics for police killings it would bring some sort of pause and reviewing of police actions, but I really don’t see that happening either.
“The law, it seems, rarely prosecutes police officers in this country. So it comes across as our children’s lives had no value,” an emotional Suzette Alexander said.