The Cabinet Minister responsible for the Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF) is tonight expressing serious concern over the shooting death of 57-year-old Selwyn Knight, which came at the hands of a police officer at Dash Gap, Bank Hall, St Michael on Sunday.
Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite said he wanted the family to know that he was profoundly sorry for their loss and empathized with them in their time of grief.
“I must say how profoundly sorry that I am to the Knight family at the loss of a father, a husband, a friend and a brother. It is always very, very sad when we lose one of our citizens,” Brathwaite told Barbados TODAY.
The Attorney General broke his silence today on the killing of Knight, whose son Junior was also shot in the back and injured while they were reportedly in the process of holding a man who had earlier broken into their home and stolen a tablet computer.
In an interview with Barbados TODAY yesterday, Junior explained that after he and his father had actually caught up with the man and brought him under their control, shots were heard.
“When my father was gine fuh de [electronic] tablet now, I just hear gunshots ringing and then see my father stumbling gine towards the front part of the vehicle [he was driving]. So when I leh go de fellow now and concentrate on my father now is when I end up getting shoot in my back when I was there with my father,” Junior recalled.
“So as the shot him me, I fell to the ground and when I turned my father head just hit my foot and I hold he and I shake he and I hollah fuh he and I realize he was not responding,” the son said as the tears filled his eyes.
While conceding that it was never easy losing a loved one, the Attorney General said it was not his role to judge the legality or otherwise of the shooting.
“I have not seen any kind of [official] report and therefore all I can say at this time is that it is very unfortunate,” Brathwaite stressed.
He said that based on his experience, police officers involved in shootings were usually very traumatized.
“So it’s not a case where the officer goes home and believes that all is well and goes about his normal business. I am sure that the officer involved will also have some difficulties presently and in the future,” he said.
So far the identity of the officer has not been released or any charges brought, even though questions have been asked about why no warning shot had been fired by the lawman before pulling the trigger.
Following the incident, 27-year-old Jamal Amal Skeete of Bedford Lane, Greenfield, St Michael, was charged with burglary.
A remorseful Skeete appeared in court today, where he pleaded guilty to the charge.
“I really don’t know what to say about this matter because a whole man’s life has been lost due to my nonsense,” Skeete said.
He also told the magistrate that unless he wanted to give him “one last opportunity” so that he could undergo rehabilitation, “it is up to you Sir.”
Please also see Page 10 of Barbados Today 03/17/2015 edition – http://epaper.barbadostoday.bb.