Investigators are reviewing footage from two cameras in the Diamond, East Bank area for a lead into the brutal murder of political activist Courtney Crum-Ewing which has left many questions swirling and has put the police force under further intense scrutiny.
Up to press time last evening there were conflicting reports from persons in the area about the circumstances surrounding the Tuesday night shooting. There are reports that Crum-Ewing was cornered in a section of a street he would have never ventured onto at night, by men in two cars. The police’s alleged almost immediate response to the crime scene is also being questioned by residents.
Contacted last evening, Crime Chief Leslie James told Stabroek News that investigators are still working on the case. “Nothing yet” was his response to the questions posed to him by this newspaper.
Based on what Stabroek News was able to gather yesterday, ranks have managed to obtain video footage from cameras mounted on two buildings in the area. It is unclear how much success the police will have given the fact that the area was dark when Crum-Ewing was shot dead.
The 40-year-old who had staged a one-man picket outside the office of Attorney General Anil Nandall for weeks over the latter’s hair-raising conversation with a KN reporter was heard on a bullhorn shortly before he was killed urging voters to not stay at home come May 11th but take to the polls to oust the incumbent PPP/C government. Then gunshots erupted; first a single shot, followed by a break of a few seconds and then rapid fire. It would appear that two guns might have been used in the execution-style killing of the man.
According to the reports this newspaper received two cars approached him from both ends of the road. It would appear that the car lights were used as blinders. This newspaper was told that men numbering about four exited the vehicles surrounded the man and shots were then fired. The men then jumped into the vehicles which sped off.
One resident said that police ranks arrived at the scene within minutes of the shooting, none of whom was attached to the Golden Grove Police Station. The resident said that this is highly suspicious.
Concerns are also being raised about how the police responded to the report of the shooting. There is nothing to indicate that ranks blocked off the only entry/exit point that the area has or scoured the dark streets with the hope of picking up some information that could tip them off as to which direction the car-borne shooters went. The Diamond and adjoining Golden Grove communities have countless dark streets where persons involved in criminal activity can avoid detection.
Crum-Ewing’s mother Donna Harcourt told Stabroek News that she visited the Brickdam Police Station and met with Divisional Commander Clifton Hicken who assured her that he will not rest until the matter has been solved. She said that he updated her on some aspects of the investigation and based on his assurances she is willing to give the police a chance to investigate. She said that his words of assurance has left her a little comfortable but not confident.
She also questioned why it is that the police never investigated her son’s numerous reports of threats to his life which were made at the Brickdam Police Station. She said Crum-Ewing’s protest angered some and a senior official was among those who warned him to stop before he was harmed. That person’s name and that of at least one other official were given to the police, the woman said.
According to Harcourt, the post-mortem examination will be performed tomorrow and attorney at law Nigel Hughes is putting measures in place to have a Trinidadian pathologist present to witness it.
The woman said that she is happy with this move as she does not trust anyone at this point. Hughes had represented Crum-Ewing after he was arrested for using a washroom located in the compound of the Ministry of Legal Affairs.
Yesterday, Harcourt insisted that her son was no victim of a robbery as nothing was taken from him. She also expressed the view that her son was forced to the area where he was killed as it is “way down in the street where they have big houses that are locked up”.
She said that when she received the call about the shooting she was on her way home from Georgetown. She said that when she arrived the police who by then had already secured the scene said that she could not get close to her son’s body. She said that he was lying on the roadway with his bullhorn a few feet away. Later she said the police lifted his lifeless body into their vehicle, picked up the bullhorn which they said they will check for fingerprints, his cellular phone and his keys.
Hughes in a Facebook page while condemning the shooting said “Stay Calm, Don’t be provoked. Be focused, committed and resolute. Only the ballot will stop the bullet. Better must come”.