BY KYLE JEREMIAH
The shooting death of a St Barb’s resident led to an explosion of rage in Laventille neighbourhood yesterday with some residents calling for a new election to retract their votes for the ruling People’s National Movement (PNM) to support the Congress of the People (COP).
Residents allege that 29-year-old Sheldon Des Vignes, a labourer with Community Environment Protection and Enhancement Programme (CEPEP), died following an altercation with the police.
Des Vignes was the father of an eight-year-old girl and a boy, nine.
According to Des Vignes’ sister Afisha, police entered their yard at about 12 noon and started harassing her cousin Richie because he was wearing a camouflaged pants.
Sheldon subsequently intervened to defend his cousin from being assaulted by police when he was then shot twice in the head.
Residents claim Des Vignes’ body was “thrown” into a van and transported to a location unknown to them.
The mother of Des Vignes’ children Asma Mohammad, surrounded by dozens of angry residents, explained that Des Vignes was the only provider for her children.
The residents’ rage was fuelled by the refusal of police to allow the media to view the scene of the incident.
“Let them see. All yuh only trying to cover up what all yuh do,” cried one resident.
One woman, who gave her name only as “Warrior Princess,” said: “I want Manning to call election now so we could vote for COP instead.”
Other residents also questioned their votes for the PNM in the general election on Monday, saying that they were being victimised after they lent support for the party they were “born into.”
Several allegations were made that certain officers told the residents that they voted for the PNM and as a result, that was the treatment they voted for.
“Panday say that. He say when somebody get killed we can’t blame nobody but we self,” were the words piercing through the crowd as residents clamoured together to try to get police to explain to them what had happened.
Residents blocked the main road leading to the community with huge boulders.
Hypolite in the bacchanal
Newly-elected Member of Parliament for the Laventille West constituency NiLeung Hypolite was on spot for the confusion as he had started a walkabout around the community yesterday to thank residents for their support in the election.
Des Vignes was Hypolite’s employee under CEPEP, residents said.
“Sheldon Des Vignes was a very peaceful and quiet guy. I don’t know exactly what happened. We have to wait until the investigators come so any information can be confirmed,” Hypolite said.
But Hypolite was also heavily criticised for proving himself to be “a weak MP” by not being able to ensure that media personnel were able to view the scene of the crime.
“This is who we vote for?” asked one resident.
Police sources told the Guardian they received a tip-off that Des Vignes’ cousin Richie had a gun in the pocket of his camouflaged pants.
Upon investigation, they said, Des Vignes confronted police allowing Richie to escape.
A scuffle ensued, before he was shot twice in the head.
Up to late yesterday, residents were protesting against what they believed to be police brutality and made threats to take matters into their own hands if they did not get justice.
ACP Gilbert Reyes said yesterday the matter would be thoroughly investigated and refused to comment further.
The niggas continue killing one another..Hahahahah doh worry, the saga continues.
One less vote for the PNM in the upcoming local elections...
Another one bites the dust.