By Aabigale McIntosh
The United Progressive Party (UPP) is urging the authorities to fulfill their commitment to conducting a comprehensive inquiry into the fatal shooting of Mannie James, a resident of Bendals.
Last Monday night, James lost his life due to gunfire inflicted by law enforcement officers in Grays Farm. This tragic incident followed a high-speed pursuit that originated from a routine stop-and-search procedure on Lauchland Benjamin Drive.
According to accounts from witnesses, James was shot as he tried to escape on foot while the vehicular pursuit concluded.
The police have revealed that a coroner’s inquest has been commissioned, in an effort to ensure full transparency, and called for the public’s support throughout the process.
Damani Tabor, the Public Relations Officer of the United Progressive Party, mentioned that the government has previously made comparable statements, but tangible results have yet to emerge from those. He holds an optimistic view that this occasion might yield distinct outcomes.
“We want to call for this to be a comprehensive investigation where the findings actually come to the general public. We have had promises of investigations in other matters where the Attorney General said he has been investigating the Antigua Airways fiasco and they have never ever been the finding or proof of investigations, much less findings.
“So it is all well to say matters under investigation but we are putting our support behind a comprehensive investigation into the unfortunate killing of Mannie James, which we now understand took place while he was unarmed and fleeing, and the treatment post injuries leave a lot to be desired,” Tabor said.
He also reiterated the need for enhanced collaboration between the general public and the police.
“I think the time has come for us to have mas dialogue including members of the public experts, and members of civil society organizations because there are so many problems that need to be addressed”.
He outlined issues such as youth violence and obstacles that hinder the optimal performance of the police, including factors like insufficient funding for their institution and challenging working conditions, among others.