Protests in Trinidad Capital After Man Killed in Shootout With Police

Some residents burned debris in the streets to block roads.

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Monday February 19, 2018 – A police late in the wee hours of this morning triggered protests by East Port of Spain residents who burned debris and blocked major roads which leading into the capital.

But by midday, lawmen said they had brought the situation under control.

The disturbances were prompted by what the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) described in a statement this morning as a “police involved shooting incident” around 3:45 a.m. Dead is 25-year-old Akile ‘Christmas’ James.

According to police, members of the Inter-Agency Task Force attempted to execute a search warrant for firearms and ammunition on premises located at Calvary Hill, when they were fired upon by the occupant of the house, James.

The police shooting of this man, Akile ‘Christmas’ James, triggered the protests.

“There was a return of gunfire and the suspect was struck,” the statement said, adding that the young man was taken to the Port of Spain General Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 4:20 am. “A Glock 45 pistol and seven rounds of ammunition were recovered at the scene.”

Police and army personnel had to go into action from around 6 a.m., to quell the disturbances that ensued, and to remove debris that had been strewn across several streets.

The TTPS said there remains a police-army presence in the areas which were affected by the disturbances, and police have also increased patrols along the Lady Young Road, Morvant and the Beetham Highway.

Head of the Port of Spain Division, Acting Senior Superintendent Floris Hodge-Griffith said charges will be laid against anyone who breached the law in the events this morning.

She assured that normalcy had been fully restored to East Port of Spain and that the situation had been brought under complete control.

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