A family member of the national footballer who was shot by police early Sunday morning has warned that the situation is very volatile and could escalate with protest action on the streets of Gouyave if the Royal Grenada Police force (RGPF) fails to move quickly and give satisfactory answers over the shooting incident.
The family member who spoke Monday to THE NEW TODAY said that the residents are not happy and are ready to go back onto the streets if the Police High Command do not give them a proper explanation for the shooting of Jamol Charles.
He feared that the residents in Gouyave will start “to get on again” with more protest action because the police force is seemingly dead silent at the moment and not giving answers to the family on the incident.
However, he praised Superintendent of Police, Vannie Curwen, Head of the Community Relations Department of RGPF, for visiting Gouyave within hours of the shooting to meet with angry villagers to help “calm down” the situation.
“…I give him (Curwen) a lot of praise for that especially the way he came and calmed the scene,” he said.
Several residents poured onto the streets of Gouyave early Sunday morning and threw garbage all over the place and lit fires to objects and calling for support for the family and demanding justice for the injured national footballer.
According to the family member “the boys on the blocks” in Gouyave are incensed over the shooting and are ready to hit the streets again if the police delay in investigating the matter and give a satisfactory answer for the shooting of the 24-year old Jamol who is regarded as a role in the community and “the pride and joy” of the small fishing village.
“If you know that youth man (who was shot) that youth man doesn’t be involved in any fight – he is not into any (bad behaviour) in Gouyave. He doesn’t be in anything bad. He is a sportsman – he likes to play basketball, he plays football, he plays cricket and he’s on the national (football) team,” he said.
The family member told THE NEW TODAY that the incident was sparked off by an early morning visit to the home by a party of officers who said they were looking for the bigger brother (Dunstan Charles) to speak to him about a report made against him.
He acknowledged that the person of interest to the police has had a past of illegal activities especially related to stealing and had spent time in prison over the years but is trying to turn around his life by selling pastries and other items.
He said: “The police came up by the mother – they did not have a search warrant – nothing. (Name of policewoman withheld) was trying to go inside the people place. She went up the walkway trying to open the gate to go inside. So the mother end up coming out – the mother was the first person that came out – when she looked out she saw them (the police) in the yard and she asked them what they want. They said that they came to talk to the guy (elder son) – they didn’t come to arrest him, they say they just come to talk”.
“(Name of female police officer) was fighting to come inside the verandah so the lady pulled back the gate and asked her to leave her place. (Name of female police officer) end up (pushing away) the mother. That is what happened. It is because of the (pushing) that the youth man (Jamol) run out. When he came outside (male police officer) just step back and he shoot him,” he added.
According to the family member, the national footballer did not come out armed or had anything in hand that would have posed a threat to the police party on the scene.
The family member charged that the police are now trying to put forward a narrative that the bigger brother who was inside the house came outside with a cutlass in hand and posed a threat to them.
“If the big brother came out with a cutlass then why you didn’t shoot the big brother than to shoot the small brother. If you see the big brother with a cutlass then you have to shoot the big brother – you don’t have to shoot the young brother’”.
The family member stated that after the shooting the police moved off the property and left behind the bullet slug and the handcuff and also did not attempt to help the injured national footballer.
He said: “We have the slug and we have the handcuff. We (are) not giving them that back just so. We have those things. Ask them (the police) who have the bullet slug and the handcuff. They don’t have it – we have it. They leave the slug and the handcuff right in the verandah and we have them”.
The family member disclosed that a meeting is scheduled with the family at 12 noon today involving Supt. Curwen.
“We want to get some answers as nobody aren’t telling us what is going on. Nobody aren’t telling us what they doing – nobody aren’t saying nothing to us”.
Asked about the present situation with the injured national footballer, he said: “He (Jamol) still has the bullet in the leg”.
THE NEW TODAY understands that doctors at the St George’s General ordered two X-rays on Sunday on the injured leg.
American-trained attorney-at-law Jerry Edwin was retained Sunday by the family members to look after their interest in the incident.
The shooting took place a day before Acting Commissioner of Police, Edvin Martin took a leave of absence from the police force which will now be run by Deputy Commissioner of Police, Frank Redhead.