Moruga residents stage a fiery protest this morning, over the police-involved shooting of fellow resident Vernrick Hudlin. (Image: Kristian De Silva)

SASCHA WILSON

Residents have blocked the Moruga Road in St Mary´s with burning debris in protest over the police-related killing of resident, Vernrick Hudlin.

This is the second fiery protest since Hudlin, fondly known as Myman, was fatally shot on Saturday by an off-duty policeman who also lives in the community. 

He was shot once in the abdomen.

As black smoke billowed from the burning tires near Gomez Trace, the protesters armed with placards shouted, “We want justice.”

Their anger this morning, however, was also directed to Insp Roger Alexander, co-host of the ‘Beyond The Tape’ television programme.  Resident Hesper Ali said Alexander only showed a certain part of the video footage of the incident on the programme.

“As a man in the police force, you know there is an investigation going on, but you playing with the minds of the people by showing what you want to show,” Ali told Guardia Media. “Why didn’t you show the complete video where they pull up on this gentleman who is minding his own business? Where in that footage did you see a police officer come out of that vehicle? You saw two civilians. Suppose was a robbery in progress and the man defending himself?”

She said after Hudlin was shot, the men failed to call the St Mary´s Police Post.

“This humble man is dead and at the end of the day, people are hurt; they are angry. You did the wrong thing yesterday,” she lamented.

Residents and relatives claimed that the killing stemmed from a dispute over the dumping of debris in front of the Gomez Trace Wastewater Treatment Plant at the HDC Ridge View community. 54-year-old Hudlin worked there as a watchman/plant attendant; he also lived on the compound.

The off-duty officer claimed that Hudlin attacked him with a cutlass following an altercation.  In a video of the incident, a vehicle stopped suddenly in front of Hudlin. He quickly stepped to the side.  Within the space of five to six seconds, Hudlin walked up to the front passenger´s window, raised his cutlass and then fell to the ground after being shot. The passenger and driver then exited the vehicle, picked up Hudlin, placed him in the backseat and drove off.

He was pronounced dead on arrival to the hospital.

Investigations are ongoing.