By Zaya Williams
In the wake of the shooting death of 45-year-old Mannie James, the authorities have taken decisive action to ensure transparency and accountability. A coroner’s inquest has been commissioned to independently investigate the circumstances surrounding James’ tragic demise.
The incident that led to Mannie James’ death occurred on Monday night in Grays Farm, during a high-speed chase that originated from a routine stop-and-search operation on Lauchland Benjamin Drive. Eyewitness accounts indicate that the Bendals man was shot and killed by law enforcement personnel as he attempted to evade them on foot after the vehicle chase ended.
The tragic event has sparked outcry from the community where it unfolded and has raised serious concerns about the use of force by law enforcement officials.
In response to the public’s demand for transparency and accountability, Superintendent Lisborn Michael addressed the media to outline the investigation process.
“The investigation is being conducted in accordance with the Coroners Act Chapter 105 of the laws of Antigua and Barbuda,” Superintendent Michael stated. “From the moment the matter was reported to the police, the coroner was notified promptly, granting permission for the removal of the body to a secure location for storage.”
The next steps in the process involve convening a five-member jury, he then disclosed.
He said:” The body will be identified by a relative of the deceased after which the coroner will adjourn the proceedings for a later date.”
Superintendent Michael further explained, “A date for a post-mortem examination will be scheduled, during which a relative will once again identify the body to a pathologist. The post-mortem examination will be conducted, and at the conclusion of the investigation, a comprehensive file will be submitted for a full coroner’s inquest.”
Throughout the investigation, law enforcement authorities are urging the general public to cooperate, assuring the community that the matter will be handled with a “high level of professionalism and transparency.”
Preliminary examinations have revealed two apparent gunshot wounds on James’ body, one to the abdomen and one to the back. Importantly, it was confirmed that no firearms were found either on James’ person or inside the vehicle he was driving at the time of the incident.
The coroner’s inquest aims to provide a thorough and impartial investigation into the circumstances surrounding Mannie James’ death.