Family and friends of Joel “Lion” Jacob paid their final respects to him on Friday at the St John’s the Baptist Church in San Juan.
Jacob, Noel Diamond and Israel Clinton were shot dead in a police-involved shooting in Second Caledonia, Morvant, last Saturday.
The killings, which sparked anger and rage and days of protests in Port-of-Spain and around the country, are now being investigated by the Police Complaints Authority and the Professional Standards Bureau of the T&T Police Service.
At the funeral yesterday there was a call for justice for Jacob. The father of two was on his way to a liquor mart with Diamond as they were celebrating his birthday when the shooting happened.
In a closed-circuit television video of the incident, Jacob was seen exiting the Nissan Tiida vehicle driven by Clinton, who had his hands in the air. Clinton was the first to be shot but Jacob and Diamond were also fatally hit by the police.
A sombre mood pervaded the atmosphere as family and friends remembered Jacob.
“To the officers involved, God be with you all conscience, cause his two little girls when they reach the age to hear how he died, what are they supposed to do, how are they to look at the Police Service, how they supposed to look at the government, how they supposed to look at the country, it is unacceptable,” Jacob’s cousin, Joel Nightingale, asked the gathering.
He said Jacob’s death will immortalise the family’s last name in the history books because “change is going to start with him, nobody can’t die like this again, not by the hand of the people we put to protect and to serve us.”
Nightingale said he sympathised with the police, who also lost a colleague over the weekend. “That is hard but you don’t kill unarmed people and people who are not involved, my cousin has nothing to do with violence,” he said.
“For those who don’t know, my family has been living in their house in Morvant for more than 70 years, generation after generation stayed in that house.”
The other two men who were killed are expected to be buried next week.
Members of the community served as pallbearers, taking Jacob’s body through the streets to his final resting place at the San Juan Cemetery
Investigations are still continuing into the police killings.