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Police prevent Beetham protests after resident killed
Quick mobilisation and action by police officers of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) yesterday prevented an early morning protest by Beetham residents, following news that one of their own was shot and killed by police during an alleged shootout.
The protest, police said, would have caused chaos and gridlock traffic in and out of Port-of-Spain.
According to a police report, at about 4 am IATF officers were on patrol at Beetham Gardens, near 8th Street, when they noticed a man holding a firearm while walking the street. The report stated that the man, upon seeing the police, opened fire on them. The police returned fire, hitting the man several times.
The man, who was identified as Kerwin James, was taken to the Port-of-Spain General Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.
Police said James was also known as “Natty,” “Darkie,” “Russel James” and Alvin St Louis and resident at 8th Street, Beetham.
Police said he was well-known to them and was arrested for several drug and gun-related offences.
Beetham residents, on hearing the news of James’ death, attempted to take to the streets in protest, including along the Churchill Roosevelt Highway and Eastern Main Road. However, police quickly responded and were able to disperse them. The officers stood guard in the area for several hours afterwards, ensuring that no protest action took place.
Investigations are continuing.
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