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Thursday 13 August, 2020

Ornella Greaves laid to rest as investigation continues

Friends and family of Ornella Greaves, who was killed during protests near the Beetham Highway on June 30, will gather to pay their last respects at a funeral which was scheduled for Wednesday.

Loop News was told that the service would take place at the Jesus Elam Revival Assembly International along Third Avenue, San Juan, on Wednesday afternoon for Greaves, a mother of five who was also pregnant at the time of her death.

Greaves was killed while attending a protest against police brutality on June 30. The protests took place following the deaths of three men during a police exercise in Morvant, which followed an unrelated incident involving the death of a police officer.

Witnesses claimed that Greaves had been killed by shots fired by officers, however Police Commissioner Gary Griffith said on Tuesday that police had not found footage from any police vehicles, or otherwise, indicating that police were near the scene of the shooting.

“We have found video footage, to show that when the unfortunate death of that lady in Beetham (occurred), we have video footage and you are looking around and there was absolutely no police officer or vehicle around that area for about three minutes until that person, until a police vehicle turned up.  So what we had is that the public yet again putting two and two together and they get five,” Griffith said.

In the footage being referenced, Greaves was seen on the ground, with persons around her claiming the shooting had just happened.

They then identified a police officer who was nearby, saying he was the only responsible.

Relatives even told Loop News that Greaves' last words were to the officer were: ‘It was you who shoot me’.

However, Griffith said that the police service was taking the report seriously and was awaiting the results of ballistics to verify who fired the round of ammunition which had killed Greaves.

“I have also asked the DCP Operations Mr (Jayson) Forde to look at video footage of all police vehicles several minutes prior to her shooting and several minutes after, and we are getting the weapons of all the police officers (in that immediate vicinity) to be able to look at true ballistic testing to see if any of those weapons were fired,” Griffith said.

Initially, police said that at the time Greaves had been hit, they were shooting back at unknown persons who had shot at them.

However, residents claimed officers at the scene at the time had randomly shot into the crowd, hitting Ornella in her hip.

In a statement last Thursday, the Police Complaints Authority announced it was conducting its own investigations into the incident.

Any witnesses to or persons with information on this incident are asked to contact the PCA at 627-4383 / 627-4386 or at info@pca.org.tt.

The PCA said all information provided will be treated as confidential.

More on this as it becomes available. 

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