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Friends dispute cops’ account of man’s killing

The trinidad Guardian / Friends of Akiel Jarvis, who was killed by police on Thursday, say they will be going to the Police Complaints Authority after allegedly witnessing police shooting Jarvis after he had surrendered to them.

According to police reports, around 1.15 pm officers of the North Eastern Division Task Force were on patrol when they received information about four gunmen at Maraj Street, San Juan. Police said when they arrived they saw Jarvis, 24, with a gun pointed at them and fearful for their lives, they opened fire. Jarvis was his several times and taken to the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex, Mt Hope, where he was pronounced dead on arrival. Police said they recovered a gun from Jarvis and later returned to the area where they found another gun and marijuana.

But speaking with the T&T Guardian at Maraj Street, San Juan, yesterday, an unidentified friend of the father of two, said Jarvis was with two other men when they heard the police were on their way just after 1 pm. He said while the other men ran off Jarvis did not know where to go and when the police arrived he was caught with a loaded .40 pistol.

“Hear what I showing you, the man (Jarvis) did have the gun in he hand. After I run I double back to see what going on but he did done surrender and had he two hand in the air. It was’t no Rambo thing, the man didn’t buss one and be like ‘I shoot behind police’. The gun was facing down in the man hand and two police shoot him,” the man claimed.

He claimed after the shooting one of the officers took the gun Jarvis had and fired a shot to make it appear Jarvis had fired at them. He reiterated that police were lying, as Jarvis was no threat to them at the time they shot.

“The youth man is not no pest or nothing. He name don’t call up in nothing. I hear what you saying about why he had a gun and thing, but he wasn’t no pest he just had one that day. Nobody don’t know he to be in anything,” the man added.

A male relative of Jarvis who did not want to be named said Jarvis broke from his usual routine Thursday of staying home to go out with his friends. Jarvis, he said, was unemployed and had one past matter for drug possession, but was never held or affiliated with guns. He added that Jarvis’ dream was to construct a home for his two daughters, ages three and one.

“He didn’t have to die that way. I used to talk to him to be careful when he outside because out there not easy,” the relative said.

“He was a loving person, a wonderful person, if you ask him for anything he would give you. You know sometimes when people work they don’t get enough money, so I believe he wanted the fast cash, which led to his death.”

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