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Friday, September 12, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
for 11TH SEPTEMBER, 2014
JENSEN LA VENDE
Enraged at the killing of their
neighbour Kerron Wellington
by police, residents of St Barb s,
Laventille, yesterday demanded
justice and promised to get it
for themselves by "dealing with
By the end of last night the
residents had already staged two
separate protests and promised
they would not let up until the
officers who killed their friend
were brought to justice. They
took to the streets last night again
after police returned to try and
clear debris they had set afire
At the scene of the first protest
yesterday, residents were so
enraged that they brazenly said
police ought to be shot and
"We would do for them," "We
have to deal with them," and
"We would shoot them" were
some of the threats made to the
One man, with a straight face,
clarified any misconceptions
about what the residents meant
when he said police would them-
selves be killed for killing
Wellington, 27, who was cele-
brating his birthday early when
he was killed.
According to police, around
10.15 pm Wednesday, members
of the Inter Agency Task Force,
led by PC Walker, were on mobile
patrol near the Laventille Tech-
nology Centre when they saw
two gunmen who opened fire on
them. The police fired back and
the two men ran away through
some bushes and escaped.
About three hours later, police
were called to the St Barb's area
near Second Hamlet Trace.
When they arrived they say
Wellington and another man,
who shot at them. The police
fired back, hitting Wellington,
who died at the Port-of-Spain
General Hospital around 1 am
Around 7.30 am yesterday,
residents, after getting news
Wellington had died, took old
appliances and blocked off parts
of St Barb's Road and set fires.
Firefighters who arrived on the
scene to out the fires were turned
away by a vociferous woman,
who said the water should
instead be used to fill residents'
Residents later told the media
the police had murdered
Wellington, who was the 38th
person killed this year by the
police. They claimed Wellington,
who would have turned 28 today,
was an honest hard-working
labourer who, for the past seven
years, slaved for a soft drink
Police had initially identified
the man they killed as 30-year-
old Michael Duncan and not
Residents said there was a
Michael in the village and
believed the police had come
looking for Michael and instead
They said the police who killed
Wellington came in a marked
vehicle with only two officers
and after the shooting returned
and asked what had happened
but when angry residents con-
fronted them they again left and
more police were called in.
His sister Krystal Wellington
said her brother was training to
be a technician in the company
and worked tirelessly.
As the residents spoke with
police about their distrust in
them and the "wickedness" they
had done, Wellington's mother,
Gail Gregoire, sat on the side of
the road being comforted. She
spoke of her son, who died before
becoming a father, as an angel
"I have bad sons but this one
wasn't bad. We is quiet people
so we not into all this protest,"
"He was hardworking, if he
was in thing I didn't mind but
he wasn't in anything," she
Gregoire then screamed for
justice as those around called for
Police kill man two days before birthday
This was the second time in under four
months that residents had turned their rage
on the police after a shooting incident.
In June, following the police killing of
Kishawn Daniel, 19, his brother Kerwin
Rodriguez also threatened police. Two days
later, however, he apologised for the
comment, assuring it was made out of grief.
Rodriquez claimed police, before he
apologised, had threatened to "deal with
him" whenever they saw him.
His apology came one day after head of
the North Eastern Division Task Force and
vice-president of the Police Social and
Welfare Association, Insp Roger Alexander,
said Rodriquez's statement was a direct
threat to the welfare of police and their
families and they would launch an all-out
war against criminals in response to it.
In response to yesterday's threat,
secretary of the association, Insp Michael
Seales, took a softer approach, saying that
the threat was an unfortunate response.
He added that if the residents responded
with hostility and thirst for vengeance, then
the residents in the area that need police
help would be negatively affected.
"They need to trust the judicial system
and we as the association understand the
grief that the friends and family are going
through and we sympathise but they must
allow due process," Seales said.
"We wouldn't want them to take revenge
and then descend into mob rule. That is not
the right way to do it.
"You cannot go about doing something
illegitimately and hope to get a legitimate
outcome. We would hope that prudence is
exercised in the matter," he added.
SEALES: RESPONSE UNFORTUNATE
Cheryl Gregoire chides police at the scene where her
godson, Kerron Wellington, was shot and killed by
one of their colleagues in St Barb's, Laventille,
yesterday. PHOTO: JENSEN LA VENDE
Anger in St Barb's
St Barb s, Laventille, residents say they
now have no trust in the Police Complaints
Authority (PCA) in the wake of Gillian
Lucky s departure from the body entrusted
with watchdogging the service.
The residents were speaking with police
at the scene of a protest in the community,
a few feet away from Second Hamlet Trace,
where 27-year-old Kerron Wellington was
killed by police Wednesday night.
Lucky, who had built a reputation as a
no nonsense investigator of complaints
against the police, resigned abruptly on
September 2 and was appointed a High
Court Judge a few days later.
Yesterday, residents said rather than take
their latest claim of police abuse to the
authority or the police, they preferred to
take matters into their own hands.
One woman said she would rather die
than put her trust in the police.
Wellington, according to police, was shot
and killed at Second Hamlet Trace, St Barb's,
after he and another man shot at them.
Residents said Wellington's killing angered
them because he was a hard-working man
who was not known to be involved in any-
His brother, Keston Wellington, said had
his brother been involved in criminal activity
the community would not have been as
enraged as it was.
"How we could go to them, when them
is the ones killing?" an outraged woman
said as she gestured at police.
Another resident said Wellington was
shot dead a house away from where he lived
and if she had been raped by police she
would rather go to a gangster than call the
Wellington's sister, Krystal, said she was
at home when she heard the gunshots that
ended her brother's life but assumed it was
a resurgence of gang warfare in the area.
Commenting on the residents' lack of
faith in the police and the PCA yesterday,
Police Social and Welfare Association sec-
retary Insp Michael Seales said the problem
was that some people were out to destroy
what the police had regained in terms of
public trust and confidence.
He said people were doing an injustice
against themselves by not having any faith
in the police and policing bodies. Saying
the PCA is still in existence, he called on
the residents to await the outcome of due
"If they take matters into their own hands
then the we would be on a collision course
and that would lead to more people being
harmed," Seales said.
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