Aunt of man killed at wake wants PM to look at police training
Citizens protest against man killed at wake by police in Hanover.

LUCEA, Hanover — The distraught aunt of 24-year-old Avado Samuels, who was reportedly shot and killed by the police, is calling for the police to be retrained in how to deal with the public.

Delta Samuels, who is also the grandaunt of Renaro French, the man for whom the wake was being held, said she wants the intervention of Prime Minister Andrew Holness.

"Mr Holness, mi ah call upon you. Call yu men dem an teach dem how to take care of people. You can't treat black man dem way deh.

"When dem done, dem seh white people ah kill black people. Ah, black people ah kill dem one and another!" stated Samuels.

Avado Samuels

She was speaking with the Jamaica Observer during a peaceful protest held in the town of Lucea on Tuesday.

Reports are that around 4:00 am the police went to a location in Mount Pleasant, where an illegal wake was taking place, to shut down the event when a confrontation took place between Samuels and the police. It was at this point that Samuels was shot.

Samuels is the uncle of French. He reportedly died in a road accident.

However, Joveian Ottey, a friend of Samuels who claimed he is an eyewitness to what took place, said the event had ended and people were packing up when the police arrived.

Ottey said a dispute developed between Samuels and one of three policemen. Ottey claimed that the police boxed Samuels during the process to which Samuels retaliated by using a bottle to hit the policeman in the head.

Ottey claimed that it was another policeman who was in a police vehicle who stepped out and shot Samuels several times to the left side of his abdomen.

Ottey claimed that after the ordeal the police left without assisting the young man. He noted that it was a pregnant woman who was a vendor at the wake who used her vehicle to take Samuels to the Noel Holmes Hospital.

Samuels died while receiving treatment in the hospital.

The aunt said it is a difficult time for the family.

"Why dem come over deh come kill the yute like dat? Him ah nuh hag," stated Samuels, adding "Jesus, have mercy. Him grandpa deh go bury the grandson and now him affi bury him son…"

A cousin of Samuels, DJ Gallis who was also the sound selector at the event, argued that even though Samuels was drinking, he was not drunk. He wants justice for his cousin.

"Mi believe in ah God. Nuh kill them. Punish them like everybody else because nobody is above the law. Punish them according to what they have done," stated DJ Gallis.

Meanwhile, it was also reported that one of the policemen received a shot to the hand during the incident.

The Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) which is investigating the incident said no illegal gun was recovered from the scene.

INDECOM's Director of Complaints for the Western Region Errol Chattoo said he visited the protest scene on Tuesday and spoke with the family.

"I discouraged them from continuing the protest action. I also discouraged them from blocking the roads and from taking any retaliation, and indicated to them that as we continue our investigation I will update the family members," relayed Chattoo.

BY ANTHONY LEWIS Observer writer

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