The family of one of the three men shot dead by police in Second Caledonia, Morvant on Saturday, is calling for an investigation into the killing.
CCTV footage raised questions about what really happened, after Jacobs was seen coming out of the vehicle with his hands up in the air, turning around twice in front of several heavily armed officers, conversing with them at gunpoint, and then returning to the vehicle, just before the officers opened fire.
It was the day of he was celebrating his 38th birthday and as far as his father is concerned, his killing was murder.
“The video was very lucid. He came out with his hands up in the air and he spin around and he mentioned to them today is his birthday and he (was) taking a drop to go out the road to get something for his birthday,” Sterling Jacobs told Guardian Media yesterday.
He continued, “They told him go back into the car and all the other guys had their hands out the car in plain sight. It’s a blatant murder what I saw there…what transpired yesterday on his birthday.”
The killings came the same day that Allen Mosely, 32, an officer attached to the Guard and Emergency Branch (GEB) was shot dead in Morvant.
Police Commissioner Gary Griffith said the two were not linked and a statement by the Police Service said Jacobs pulled a gun on an officer when he returned to the car.
The CCTV video that began circulating Saturday evening, was too distant to support or discredit the police statement.
However, the man from whose home the video was shot, vouched for Jacobs during an interview yesterday.
Anthony Bartholomew, the head coach of the Malick Secondary School’s football team, insisted Jacob was not involved in a life of crime.
“I know Jacob all my life. All Jacob does do is drink he lil alcohol and entertain. Jacob knows nothing about holding no gun. If I did come here and my footage showing is criminal die here, me ain’t giving nobody footage… me ain’t have no time with that. (But) Jacob was a good person,” he said.
He described him as loving and non-violent.
“I just want to clear Joel name. Joel gone but I want the world to know don’t brand him as no gunman or no thief. So all who hearing and feeling and speculating that it’s Caledonia and stereotyping Caledonia…Joel wasn’t in no crime.”
Jacobs’ sister Candice broke down in tears as she described the death of the father-of-two.
“He point and said I living right there. The boss, today is meh birthday. I just going down the road to get a bottle of rum and me and meh brethren and them will come back to drink,” she said.
“What I am asking is for our Commissioner of Police to make a statement on this. We want an investigation.”
Jacobs’ mother Karen put her hands in the air as she too demonstrated how he alighted the vehicle.
“He put up his hands stating he (the police officer) is free to do whatever. He didn’t mean for them to shoot him in his back and then for another police officer to shoot him three-four times. He was innocent. I don’t have a problem with police officers doing their work but do it properly. Take him to the police station and question him,” she cried.
PCA launches investigation into police killings
The Police Complaints Authority (PCA) has launched an independent investigation into the shooting.
The PCA said its civilian investigators will conduct an independent investigation on the matter and then forward its findings to the Authority.
“Upon receipt of the said report, the Authority shall make an assessment and form an opinion as to whether there is sufficient evidence to support a recommendation for prosecution and/ or the institution of disciplinary proceedings,” the PCA said in a media release yesterday.
The PCA also sought to assure the public that the “due process” will be followed.
The PCA said that part of its mandate is to ensure that no police officer “acts above the Rule of Law”
The PCA is also calling on any eyewitnesses to come forward and guaranteed that all information would be treated with the strictest confidence.
Guardian Media attempted to contact Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith on the matter and asked whether he saw the video on social media.
The Commissioner did not respond to calls or messages.