Po­lice Con­tro­ver­sially Shoot Marigot Man!

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL - By Ramia Thomas

The new year has only just be­gun but al­ready we’ve recorded eight deaths— six of which oc­curred on what most Saint Lu­cians con­sider the holi­est day of the week, “fam­ily day” - Sun­day. Most of the killings oc­curred near the vic­tims’ fam­ily home.

Yves Rene, 39, of Fond Mange, Marigot, was among those who per­ished on Sun­day. News of his death was par­tic­u­larly sad but the ac­tual cir­cum­stances are what re­ally grabbed pub­lic at­ten­tion. By pop­u­lar ac­count Rene was run­ning away from the po­lice with his hands up when he was cut down.

Wit­nesses later talked about a pool of blood where Rene fell and brain mat­ter on nearby shrub­bery. Al­leged eye­wit­nesses re­called what hap­pened in their pres­ence around 11 a.m. last Sun­day, shortly af­ter a five-man po­lice drug squad stopped their ve­hi­cle at the Marigot bus sta­tion, and started search­ing a group of young men who nor­mally hang out there.

“The of­fi­cers had po­si­tioned them­selves, sur­round­ing the area,” one of the young men re­called. “Then they or­dered us to stand fac­ing a wall. Rene was bare­back, so they could see he was un­armed when he ran off. I saw a young of­fi­cer bend down, he took aim and fired at Rene.

“The of­fi­cer in charge for­got about the search. He just stood there hold­ing his head.”

Rene was about ten feet from the search party, said one of his friends, when he was shot down.

“The of­fi­cer shot him with a 12-gauge shot­gun af­ter or­der­ing him to stop. The shot hit Rene at the back of his head, shat­ter­ing his skull. He died in­stantly.”

The dead man’s older sis­ter, Jean­nine, de­scribed him as “a trades­man who kept out of trou­ble” and was gen­er­ally liked in the area.

Ad­di­tion­ally: “My brother was one be­fore the last of five of us. He lived across from the bus stop with his girl­friend. He did ma­son work mostly, a lit­tle elec­tri­cal, some con­struc­tion. He was al­ways work­ing. He had a few five bags on him, not five pounds of weed. That was not enough rea­son to kill him.”

Rene’s mother, when she was told, could hardly be­lieve her son was gone. Veron­ica sat alone in the bal­cony of her small wooden home, a cloth wrapped around her head. Her voice was weak but clear.

“I couldn’t sleep last night,” she told this re­porter in Cre­ole. “He just came to give me tea and now he’s gone. He al­ways comes by to help me around and make sure that I have some­thing to eat. I’m sick and can­not walk around much. I keep go­ing up and down to the hospi­tal but they can­not do any­thing for me. They tell me I have chronic arthri­tis in both legs. Rene was good to ev­ery­body. I will miss him. He was such a great help to me.”

Veron­ica, mother of de­ceased Yves Rene. He had vis­ited her a short time be­fore po­lice shot him in the head.

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