(Trinidad Guardian) Relatives of Jamel Woods, 24, who was killed in a police-involved shooting in Waterhole, Cocorite, on Saturday claim he was executed and are calling for a full investigation into his death.
They are denying police reports that Woods opened fire on a group of officers who were on patrol in the area. The police returned fire and Woods was shot. He was taken to the St James Infirmary where he died while undergoing emergency treatment.
However, a relative of Woods, who did not want to be identified, said he had just collected a $5,000 sou sou and was walking along a track through some bushes to his home when he was approached by police officers on foot patrol.
“We saw when they put him to lie on the ground and they searched him,” she said.
She further claimed that after Woods was shot they dragged his body down the hill, put him in a police vehicle and took him to the Infirmary.
Relatives are also disputing claims that Woods died while being treated. They said he died before he was taken to the St James Infirmary. She said Woods was a Muslim and had been avoiding certain areas in Cocorite because of the ongoing gang warfare. “That is why we created this track up the hills to our house so that he and some of us wouldn’t have to go down in certain parts to pass on the streets because it is dangerous,” she said.
Relatives said Woods, a tradesman who did tiling jobs with his father-in-law, was not involved in criminal activity.
“He was full of love and we are grieving over this injustice and just want his story to be told. We want justice for him,” his relative said. The family wants the head of the Police Complaints Authority (PCA) David West to investigate his killing. They said they know the identities of the officers involved and are willing to give statements.
An autopsy is expected to be conducted today at the Forensic Science Centre in St James.
Investigations are continuing.