More than a week after Moruga resident Vernrick “Myman” Hudlin was fatally shot by an off-duty policeman, his mother is not happy with the pace of the police investigation into his death.
“He (off-duty officer) still happily ever after and my son is in the grave,” lamented 72-year-old Mary Hudlin-Walker in a telephone interview yesterday.
Villagers and relatives held two fiery protests along the Moruga Road in St Mary´s Village last week calling for the off-duty policeman to be arrested. They said Hudlin, who lived and worked at the Gomez Trace Wastewater Treatment Plant in the Ridge View Housing Development Corporation (HDC) community, was well-loved in the community.
The officer who allegedly shot him also lives in the community. The seconds leading up to the shooting on August 29 were captured on video surveillance.
It showed a vehicle suddenly stopping in front of Hudlin who quickly steps to the side. Hudlin, 54, then walked up to the front passenger window. Within seconds he raised his cutlass and then fell to the ground. The driver and the passenger then put him into the vehicle and drove off. He was pronounced dead on arrival to the Princes Town District Facility. An autopsy revealed that he died from a gunshot wound to the abdomen. An initial police report stated that Hudlin attacked the officer with a cutlass following an altercation.
Hudlin-Walker said, “He (off duty officer) happily ever after while they taking their time with this investigation. If it was a civilian who did this he would be behind bars already. Whether the investigation start or if it finish they still holding you. Why is this man outside still because he is a policeman?”
So far, she said she has received no official word from the police regarding this investigation.
“I find they sticking. The only police I see is when we had the protest. I am very dissatisfied with the pace this investigation going. If they continue with this pace they going I will have to take up my pace,” she said.
Hudlin-Walker, a mother of six, said her son’s death has taken a toll on the family.
“I have to cope. I trust in the Lord that the Lord will keep me.”
She said the Police Complaints Authority has been in contact with the family.
A senior officer told Guardian Media that the investigation was not progressing as fast as it should due to the COVID-19 situation.
However, he assured that the matter would be properly investigated. Supt Nobie of the Southern Division is investigating.