Relatives of a 39-year-old Speyside man are accusing the police of using excessive force following his killing on Wednesday night.
Kervin Isaac of Canal Head in Speyside, Tobago was shot and killed by officers.
His relatives and residents of the area described Isaac as mentally ill but said he was not a danger to anyone.
A close relative who spoke with Guardian Media said Isaac’s brother was made to lie on the ground by officers and was being searched before he was shot by police.
“He is normally a quiet fella, doesn’t interfere with anybody, but when he saw his brother on the ground he got a little aggravated and he began to argue with the police, things just went from zero to one hundred real quick and the next thing we know is gunshots.”
The relative went on to say that throughout the ordeal Isaac’s brother repeatedly stated “officer don’t bother with him he head not good”(mentally ill). But residents said the situation worsened when Isaac was shot and his body immediately thrown in the back of the police vehicle and hauled away after the shooting.
Part of the incident was captured by a resident at the scene and the recording shows where the seemingly lifeless body is being placed at the back of a police vehicle as people standby screaming and pleading with police who hurriedly leave the scene.
Area Representative Farley Augustine said he was extremely saddened by Isaac’s death and although he was mentally ill, he said his killing has left family and community members distraught and outraged.
Isaac’s mother had to be hospitalized following the incident.
“Many villagers know Kervin in the community he is often seen walking aimlessly on the street along his home. It’s someone that we know and while he may look threatening to people who don’t know him residents in the area know him that he is not a known threat.”
Augustine called on all sectors to collaboratively reassess how people with mental illness are treated. He also questioned the use of force by police and the ability of officers to diffuse conflicts as he called for an investigation.
Media Liaison Officer for the Tobago Division of the TTPS, Police Inspector Alicia Piggot said she was still collecting facts on the incident and would say more as soon as all the information is available.