Mother begs for police protection

Eight days af­ter her son was shot dead near his San­gre Grande home, Ann Marie Stephen says she is now be­ing tar­get­ed by gang mem­bers in her com­mu­ni­ty and is ap­peal­ing to Po­lice Com­mis­sion­er Gary Grif­fith for im­me­di­ate pro­tec­tion.

Stephen, 53, a moth­er of eight, said she had re­port­ed the in­ci­dent to the Tu­na­puna Po­lice Sta­tion. She came to Guardian Me­dia on Mon­day seek­ing help.

The threat came days af­ter her 23-year-old son Kei­th Clement, a co­conut ven­dor, was killed on De­cem­ber 27.

Stephen said Kei­th was her third child to have died un­der trag­ic cir­cum­stances. Her daugh­ter, Mar­i­on Clarke, 16, died in an ac­ci­dent in To­ba­go a few years ago and in 2017, her 34-year-old son Bren­don Stephen was shot dead.

She de­nied Clement was in­volved in any il­le­gal ac­tiv­i­ty al­though she ad­mit­ted he smoked mar­i­jua­na and was fre­quent­ly on the block.

“I am ap­peal­ing to Grif­fith to in­ves­ti­gate Kei­th’s death, please. I need jus­tice for my son’s mur­der. I am not go­ing to rest un­til I see his killers get pun­ished. I want Grif­fith to clean up Damarie Hill and put away these gang mem­bers who have the place un­safe,” she said.

Stephen said her son was a vic­tim of an on­go­ing war in the com­mu­ni­ty.

“It’s war­fare from long time. My big son, Bren­don, and them used to be in war,” she said.

Stephen said she was threat­ened last Fri­day as she walked from her home by a man who “start­ed shout­ing that he would kill me.”

She re­called: “I start­ed to run but fell and in­jured my left hip. As he got clos­er, I be­gan scream­ing and peo­ple came out, caus­ing him to go in an­oth­er di­rec­tion. That is how I got away. Stephen said.

Asked if she is liv­ing in fear, Stephen: “I not fear­ful of dy­ing be­cause I have no co­coa in the sun. I have noth­ing to hide. They done killed two of my sons and is not strangers who do it. Why these fel­las killing peo­ple and they out­side walk­ing free? Some­thing is not right.”

No one has been ar­rest­ed for Clement’s mur­der.

- by Shaliza Hassanali. Photo by Ralph Banwarie.

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