PORT OF SPAIN –– The mother of a mentally ill man killed by police is claiming officers woke him up from his bed before he was fatally shot.
This was the allegation made by Rosalie Paul on the shooting death of her son Daniel Paul by officers of the Ste Madeline Police Station on Monday night.
The incident happened around 8 p.m. in a track off Richie Street, Ste Madeline, a stone’s throw away from where Paul lived with his family.
Rosalie said Paul began exhibiting violent and strange behaviours after leaving school some five years ago and he was put on medication and being treated at the Psychiatric Clinic at the San Fernando General Hospital.
Rosalie said on Monday Paul took the wrong medication and started to act up, hitting a neighbour’s car with a bottle.
“By the time the police came, he had come home, taken his correct tablet and went in his bed to sleep –– they went to wake him to apologise to the woman but like he know they was going to do him something and he didn’t want to get up,” Rosalie said.
Rosalie said she had explained to the officers that Paul had mental health issues but they disregarded her.
“They didn’t want to hear nothing, they went on the bed and shaking him to get up and one of them hit him on his head with a flash-light and that trip him off more and like he was too frighten to come off the bed and go with them. He keep telling them tomorrow he will tell the woman sorry. When I checked his bed after I realise he was so frighten, he pee the bed.”
She said the officers eventually left the house and were speaking to someone else a short distance away when Paul got up and left the house.
“He went outside and pelt another bottle and run and they was chasing him down and I was bawling ‘Allyuh doh kill meh child!’”
She said Paul ran a short distance away into a track and the officers followed him.
“They say he had a stone and was going to pelt the police and that is why they shoot him. They could have shoot the child in his foot, they didn’t have to kill him.”
Rosalie also claimed officers left Paul on the ground for over half an hour before taking him to the San Fernando General Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
The T&T Guardian tried contacting head of the Southern Division Senior Superintendent Zhamsheed Mohammed yesterday but calls to his cellphone went unanswered.
This was the third police shooting of a mentally ill patient this year.
On April 1, Raymond Joseph, 51, of Mahaica Road, Point Fortin, was shot after he allegedly attempted to grab the gun of a municipal police officer who had assisted in taking him to the Area Hospital. Relatives of Joseph, a retired soldier, had sought the police’s help to take him to the hospital for treatment.
On March 16, 2017, Paul Marchan, 30, was shot dead by officers of the Western Division Task Force who responded to reports he was acting in a deranged manner.
According to reports at the time, Marchan went to a relative’s Diego Martin home and was hurling objects. When the police arrived, he allegedly doused himself in a flammable liquid and locked himself in his car. When the officers finally got him out the car, he allegedly slashed one of the officers on his hand with a piece of broken bottle and stabbed the other with a knife. Task Force officers arrived soon after and Marchan reportedly charged towards them with the knife and they shot him twice.