The mother of a teenager who was murdered after running away from a Children’s Authority care home, earlier this year, has threatened to sue the Police Complaints Authority (PCA) over its refusal to investigate the case.
In a pre-action protocol letter sent to PCA Director David West on Monday and obtained by Guardian Media, lawyers representing Nicole Braithwaite called on the authority to reconsider its decision.
“We respectfully disagree with the PCA’s conclusion that our client’s complaint does not fall within the remit of the PCA,” attorney Jamie Maharaj said.
“Given eyewitnesses reports that the persons who killed our client’s son were dressed in police uniform, we are of the firm view that our client’s complaint falls squarely within the ambit of Section 21(1)(a) of the Act as her complaint relates to the alleged commission of a criminal offence by police officers,” Maharaj added.
According to reports, Braithwaite’s 16-year-old son Antoine Francis was among five residents of the home, who escaped in March.
Less than a week later, Francis and former fellow resident Simeon Daniel, 15, were found murdered on top of the roof of an abandoned house at Mc Shine Lands in Laventille.
While police initially suggested that the teenagers were murdered by gang members in the community, Braithwaite is claiming that eyewitnesses claimed the teens were attacked by assailants “dressed in police uniform”.
“Following this homicide, as far as our client is aware, there was no police investigation conducted into the matter despite evidence that police officers were possibly involved in this incident,” Maharaj said.
Maharaj claimed that on May 9, Braithwaite wrote to the PCA calling for an independent investigation.
The PCA responded by saying that the complaint did not fall within its investigative remit as it could only investigate criminal offences involving police officers, police corruption and serious police misconduct.
Braithwaite’s attorneys gave the PCA until October 5 to reverse its decision and warned that they would file the judicial review lawsuit if it failed to meet the deadline.
Braithwaite is also being represented by Michael Rooplal, Saira Lakhan and Vishan Girwar.