Cocoa Walk residents protest after police shoots mentally ill man
Residents of Cocoa Walk, south Manchester, are up in arms over the shooting of a man in the community yesterday by a member of a police team.
Thirty-four-year-old Jeffrey Allen was shot in the neck, allegedly by a member of the Cross Keys police, in circumstances where the police report varies from that of residents.
The police Corporate Communications Unit (CCU) told The Sunday Gleaner that a team from the Ministry of Health was in the community to administer scheduled injections to persons with mental-health issues.
According to the CCU, the police were summoned after Allen stabbed a member of the team from the health ministry. The CCU said Allen was then shot after he attacked a member of the police team.
But the angry residents, led by Allen's father, Eric, have disputed this report.
According to Eric, at no time did any member of the mental health team get close to his son to be stabbed. He said Allen started to move away from the mental health personnel and the police as they tried to coax him into taking the injection.
Eric said his son, who was armed with a knife, refused to take the injection and the health team summoned cops from the Cross Hills Police Station to assist in subduing him.
Other residents also claim that Allen started to move away from the Police and Health officials, but after about 1,500 metres he stopped to rest in an area known as Razam Corner.
The residents say while Allen was resting, a member of the Cross Keys police pulled his service revolver and fired a shot, hitting him.
Eric, who said he was a few metres away from his son when he was shot, told The Sunday Gleaner that what happened was unbelievable.
Threw knife away
"It happened right in front of me. The man (Jeffery) a walk back way, him facing the police but walking back way so him could see de police. Him have a knife in him hands and the policeman say 'dash it way'. De man throw wey de knife and the police still shoot the man in a him neck," said the elder Allen.
He said when the policeman pulled his gun he believed the cop was only going to fire a warning shot.
"The man was not a threat to the police. He never pulled the knife on the police. The police man shoot him about an arm's length away. Anything can guh so? Is not hear mi hear. I was there. And we not clearing the road until INDECOM (Independent Commission of Investigations) come," said the father, who was part of a group of residents who blocked the Coco Walk main road in protest.
The elder Allen charged that at least three other persons were in the police service vehicle while at least four persons were part of the team from the health ministry.
The shooting has reportedly been referred to INDECOM.