Protesters seek justice for cabbie shot dead by cop
Relatives and friends of 29-year-old taxi driver Stephon Powell, who was shot dead by an off-duty cop on July 24, staged a protest yesterday in front of the Vineyard Town Police Station, to express their dissatisfaction with the progress of the investigation.
According to police reports, Powell was shot multiple times after he allegedly gained entry to his ex-girlfriend's house and attacked her with a knife. He was shot by the cop who is the woman's current partner. However, Powell's father Errol is refuting the report, stating that his son visited the residence to collect the remainder of his belongings. Errol also said that an independent pathologist did an autopsy on his son. He stated that this was done because the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM), which is probing the case, told the family that no one could be in the room when the initial autopsy was being done.
"I did the pathology test the day after. Him tell me that Stephon hold him hands in the air, them shoot out him hand middle, them shoot him in his stomach, him get a shot that graze him neck and in his back and his side. Like he turned to run and get a shot in his side then his back," Errol told the news team. He explained that the pathology report further disclosed that Stephon died from losing too much blood "because none of the shots killed him".
"We feel really bad. Mi weep, right now me weak. Every day mi cry mi a tell you the truth," he said.
The family and friends claim that they are determined to go to the extremes to get answers and that they will be visiting the commissioner's office next if they don't get a response from INDECOM soon.
"We have blood running through us and it's boiling up. We can't see or hear anything and that policeman is walking free. That don't look right!" one of the protesters said. One woman who proclaimed herself to be one of Powell's 'mothers' was in utter despair as she searched for the reason why her son was fatally killed.
"Only bird you kill like that and nothing more. We don't hear the reason why he died, we don't hear nothing more. We are people. He had three kids, he had a babymother and he had a whole family. We need justice," she said
When contacted by THE STAR, Hugh Faulkner, INDECOM's commissioner, said that he was not able to give a detailed update on the matter because he did not have the report handy.
"We had done our initial forensic examination, we had taken the firearm into custody for processing, statements were taken and the basics would have been done. I wouldn't go beyond that without the actual case files before me," he said.
Faulkner also clarified that the usual process of performing a post mortem is done through the Institute of Forensic Science and Legal Medicine. He also said that the family is entitled to utilise an independent pathologist and that INDECOM encourages it.