Scores of residents blocked the roads in and around Laventille with burning debris in protest of a police killing in the area yesterday evening. The victim of the shooting was identified as 23-year-old Nigel Caesar, a painter with the Housing Development Corporation (HDC), of Block Eight, Laventille. Residents, who wished to remained unidentified, said around 5.30 pm, a group of policemen in plainclothes arrived in the area. Caesar was reportedly returning home from a job site when he was confronted by the officers.
Police said Caesar drew a gun and fired at them before running off. The officers returned fire shooting Caesar twice, once in the head and the other in his upper body. He died on the scene. However, residents told a different story, claiming Caesar was unarmed at the time. “The police wicked. They just see the man and start shooting at him,” the resident said. “He (Caesar) was not in anything. He was coming from work…them police always taking advantage of we,” another residents said.
When a T&T Guardian news team visited the area, they were greeted by roads blocked by burning rubbish. Around 6 pm, a vocal group of male residents attempted to block the Eastern Main Road near the Beetham flyover. Their actions were quickly suppressed by a group of heavily-armed officers who arrived in the area shortly after the protest began. The officers removed the debris and dispersed the crowd, allowing the free flow of traffic on the Eastern Main Road.
“Police need to stop killing innocent people in Laventille,” an angry resident shouted. Up to late yesterday, none of the protesters had been arrested by police. ASP Ajith Persad of the Port-of-Spain CID is investigating Caesar’s shooting.