Trinidad: Relatives say Cocorite man was executed

Jamel Woods, 24, of Cocorite

(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.

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