Man allegedly shot and killed by law enforcement laid to rest almost a year later

The content originally appeared on: Antigua News Room

Source: Real News Antigua -Three hundred and ten (310) days after Grays Green resident Manny James was fatally shot by a law-enforcement officer in his community, he was laid to rest on June 6, 2024.

After a short ceremony at the Barnes Funeral Home, James was interred at the New Winthorpes Community Cemetery with few mourners in attendance, reports say.

On the night of July 31, 2023, James sought to evade a police stop-and-search exercise since the vehicle he was driving was not licensed.

The ensuing police chase led all the way from Rural East to the Grays-Green community, where James eventually alighted from the vehicle and began running, pursued by a police officer and a Defence Force soldier.

According to eyewitness reports that were supported by a number of cell- phone videos, James eventually was stopped by a bullet – to the back.

A police officer confirmed later that the deceased had been unarmed when he was shot, and no weapons had been found in the vehicle he had been driving.

In the aftermath of what some residents deemed “an execution,” the public began calling for an investigation into James’ death; however, neither the

Police nor Minister of Public Safety Steadroy “Cutie” Benjamin has seen it fit to publish any official report of what transpired that night.

However, according to attorney-at-law Leon Chaku Symister, a team of persons investigating the incident “has been able to identify the person who fired the fatal shot into James’ back that evening.”

He adds that an autopsy was conducted, as well, but the findings appear to have been suppressed by the authorities.

What is rather damning, though, is that, to date, no inquest into James’ killing has been convened – although the matter has been assigned to a magistrate in the St. John’s District and a jury has been empaneled.

Sources tell REAL News that it would be a full inquest to determine whether James’ death can be classified as a homicide.

Meanwhile, “the irony of it all,” Symister says, “is that Manny James, who was ‘executed’ in life was ‘escorted’ by a police vehicle today to his rest in the cemetery.”

Reports say that the vehicle, AB151, with its lightbar flashing, escorted the procession to James’ resting place.

Concerned residents are now asking whether the dead man will be vindicated for the sake of his children and family.

Following the tragedy, reports had said that snacks meant for his children were found in the vehicle that James had abandoned that night.

Residents have been asking, since then, what assistance the Government has provided the minors and their mother, as James was said to have been the family’s breadwinner.

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