Coroner’s inquest starts for shooting of blind man by police


Tribune Staff Reporter


THE BROTHER of a blind man killed in a police-involved shooting in 2018 testified yesterday that he never saw his brother with a firearm.

Sergeant S Braynen shot Courtney Elvardo Thompson in the back of his head on January 26, 2018, on Plantol Street off East Street. A Coroner’s court inquest into the killing began on Wednesday.

Police claimed one of two men fleeing on a motorbike had aimed a firearm in their direction.

After the incident, angry residents swarmed the area, shouting that police had killed a blind man.

Lawrence Thompson, the deceased’s brother, said yesterday he was 30 to 40 feet away from the shooting and never saw his brother brandish a weapon.

Mr Thompson said his brother went to get food before he was killed. He said his nephew was the driver of the motorcycle.

Mr Thompson said a police car bumped the motorcycle before the officer killed his brother. He also said that police prevented him from getting close to his brother’s body.

Officials played surveillance footage in court yesterday showing the motorcycle passing a corner with Courtney Thompson sitting behind his nephew.

Police pursued the vehicle as the motorcycle turned a corner. Eventually, the deceased is seen falling to the ground as his nephew speeds off.

Mr Thompson said his nephew drove off because he was “scared”.

He said his nephew’s hands never left the bike’s handle.

During cross-examination, attorney Joel Seymour, representing the deceased’s estate, asked Mr Thompson if his brother had been drinking that day.  Mr Thompson said no.

He said if his brother had a gun that night, he would be honest and upfront about it. 

Acting Coroner Kara Turnquest-Deveaux is presiding over the inquiry.

Attorney K Melvin Rolle is representing Sgt Braynen.

The inquest continues on May 4.

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