Man allegedly shot and killed by law enforcement laid to rest almost a year later

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Source: Real News Antigua -Three hundred and ten (310) days after Grays Green resident Manny James was fatally shot by a law-enforcement officer in his community, he was laid to rest on June 6, 2024.

After a short ceremony at the Barnes Funeral Home, James was interred at the New Winthorpes Community Cemetery with few mourners in attendance, reports say.

On the night of July 31, 2023, James sought to evade a police stop-and-search exercise since the vehicle he was driving was not licensed.

The ensuing police chase led all the way from Rural East to the Grays-Green community, where James eventually alighted from the vehicle and began running, pursued by a police officer and a Defence Force soldier.

According to eyewitness reports that were supported by a number of cell- phone videos, James eventually was stopped by a bullet – to the back.

A police officer confirmed later that the deceased had been unarmed when he was shot, and no weapons had been found in the vehicle he had been driving.

In the aftermath of what some residents deemed “an execution,” the public began calling for an investigation into James’ death; however, neither the

Police nor Minister of Public Safety Steadroy “Cutie” Benjamin has seen it fit to publish any official report of what transpired that night.

However, according to attorney-at-law Leon Chaku Symister, a team of persons investigating the incident “has been able to identify the person who fired the fatal shot into James’ back that evening.”

He adds that an autopsy was conducted, as well, but the findings appear to have been suppressed by the authorities.

What is rather damning, though, is that, to date, no inquest into James’ killing has been convened – although the matter has been assigned to a magistrate in the St. John’s District and a jury has been empaneled.

Sources tell REAL News that it would be a full inquest to determine whether James’ death can be classified as a homicide.

Meanwhile, “the irony of it all,” Symister says, “is that Manny James, who was ‘executed’ in life was ‘escorted’ by a police vehicle today to his rest in the cemetery.”

Reports say that the vehicle, AB151, with its lightbar flashing, escorted the procession to James’ resting place.

Concerned residents are now asking whether the dead man will be vindicated for the sake of his children and family.

Following the tragedy, reports had said that snacks meant for his children were found in the vehicle that James had abandoned that night.

Residents have been asking, since then, what assistance the Government has provided the minors and their mother, as James was said to have been the family’s breadwinner.

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14 COMMENTS

  1. According to law, the term “allegedly” must be used until there is a conviction by a judge or jury. It is sad that he had to lose his life over a traffic stop-and-search. Shooting someone in the back who is running away ought to be outlawed. May the life is Manny James rest in peace.

  2. I say it depends on the situation. Let’s say someone breaks into a home, encounters the father who is a licensed firearm holder, attacks and critically injures him before he can get a shot off. If his wife then takes the weapon and shoots at the same time he is turning away (a natural motion when someone has a firearm pointed at you) and ends up fatally shooting the intruder “in the back”, are you saying she should spend the rest of her life in jail? Who’s to say he is not dodging to get something else to seriously inflict harm on her and/or their children? This outlines the issue I have with blanket policies implemented out of emotion, without taking into consideration all the different possible scenarios.

    In the case of the man who lost his life, condolences to him and his family. The lost of a family member is always tough and I hope the right thing is done according to the law.

    However, there are still unanswered questions I personally have, like why run? You then give law enforcement a reason to chase you? Just comply with officers if you’re innocent. I don’t think that time of night, officers are looking for expired or suspended drivers licenses and when you react that way, it heightens the level of suspicion.. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not putting 100% blame on the individual as I don’t know all the details of the case. These are just questions I have that often go unanswered. Another one is, did he have anything in his hands that can be mistaken for a firearm at night? A cellphone? Anything? If not, why did officers feel the need to take the shot? If he did, why did he feel the need to put the officers in that position where they felt they needed to take the shot? These I believe are legitimate questions that need answers.

    I’m just curious.

  3. The Police who shot him was not in any danger at the time of the shooting.He was running away from the Police. He was shot in the back by said Police.That Police should be assigned to desk work until an investigation is carried out.
    Where I am living. If you were to shoot someone running away from you in the back. You would be charged with murder.For the Law says you were not in any danger with the person running away from you.

  4. The great Dave Ray. Why would you of all person want to outlaw shooting IN THE BACK? THEN THE VERY SAME RIGHTS ON ANOTHER MATTER THAT YOUR COLLEAGUE’S ARE FIGHTING TO BECOME LAW WILL REMAIN CRIMINAL. Dave you may want to think again 🤔🤔🤔,🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

  5. @Bugsy , to piggy back on @Curious George’s questions, please don’t take what I’m about to ask the wrong way as I am only attempting to think logically as well and ask questions. Neither am I saying he had something in his hand which could be mistaken for a firearm. Let’s say you were the cop, you had to give chase to someone and that person jumps out of their vehicle with something black in their hand. Again, not saying that he did, just painting a scenario cause we don’t know. But if that was the case, at what point would you as an officer feel the need to take the shot? Are you going to wait until the person you’re persuing takes the first shot? Mind you, it’s dark and you were doing traffic stops looking for weapons, drugs and/or suspects. You literally have to make a decision in a second or less. Not saying that this gentleman who lost his life did that but just trying to get your trail of thought.

  6. I DO NOT JUMP TO IF’S AND OR BUTS.THE LAW WHERE I AM LIVING IS QUITE CLEAR.IF SOMEONE DID BREAK INTO YOUR HOUSE.IF YOU CAME HOME AND OPENED YOUR DOOR AND THAT PERSON RUN TOWARDS YOU AND YOU SHOOT HIM.THEN IT WOULD BE DEEMED TO SELF DEFENSE,JUSTIFIABLE.HOWEVER,IF THAT PERSON RUN BY YOU AS YOU OPENED THE DOOR.IF YOU WERE TO SHOOT HIM THEN IN THE BACK.YOU COULD BE CHARGED WITH MURDER.FOR THE LAW SAYS,YOU WERE NOT IN ANY DANGER AT THE TIME OF SHOOTING THAT PERSON.THIS MATTER NEEDS TO BE THROUGHLY INVESTIGATED.IN MY OPINION,AN OUTSIDE INVESTIGATIVE SQUAD SHOULD BE SET UP. THE POLICE SHOULD NOT BE INVESTIGATING THEMSELVES IN THIS MATTER.

  7. @Well Well, “let’s say, let’s say my arse! None of what you’re saying was the case with Mannie. And the police lied their asses off claiming they were being shot at in the car chase. They weren’t anyone else in that car; and the victim didn’t have anything in his hand. But, as you said, it was dark — so how could they see something black in the dark? Those thugs didn’t want to chase him so they shot him. When they realize there was nothing on him or in the car they concocted a bullshit story to justify murdering the man. People like you and @ curious George are the reason why police aren’t held accountable for their rogue and malicious actions on civilians. He ran because his vehicle wasn’t licensed nor insured. Shooting someone in the back who is running AWAY from you is deliberate and despicable. The shooter needs to be charged for murder.

  8. @Bugsy that doesn’t really answer my question. We are quick to judge and jump to conclusions when we’re on the outside looking in and we have had time to actually think about everything we would do in a similar situation. We do not take into consideration the split second decisions law enforcement sometimes need to make. I personally believe that if he had just complied, he would be alive, prob at home with his kids right now.

    I rememeber watching this series on YouTube where civilians who were quick to judge law enforcement on being quick to shoot. They were equiped with toy guys and put in the same recent situations people were criticizing cops for. 9/10 them reacted the same way cops did in the real life situation, which changed their perspective on the split second decisions cops need to make.

    Again, my question is, if you are a cop, doing traffic stops looking for weapons, drugs, or suspects, and you need to chase someone, that person jumps out of the car with something black in their hand, at what point would you feel the need to take the first shot? Remember, most armed criminals when running from police, point towards cops behind them and fire while running. Not referring to this situation but one that happens quite often.

    Also, to go back to what you said, if someone runs towards you, you take the shot and it’s self defense. However, you say if someone runs pass you, you can’t shoot in the back which I know. Here’s my other question, how do you know the “running pass you person” is running pass you? To run pass you, they have to run at you no? How do you plan on reading that person’s mind to know they intend to “run pass you”. In case you don’t know, it can take someone 1.5 seconds average to get to someone 21ft away.

  9. @justice…. First of all, if you read properly without reading with emotion, you would clearly see where I asked questions on both sides. Then again, most people, like yourself, read to reply rather than read to understand. I would highly suggest you read my comment again without emotion.

    IF what you’re saying is true regarding the concocted story, I believe that is where the second sentence in the second paragraph of my first comment comes in. You did read that part right? Or were you blinded by your need to write your emotional and judgemental mini rant?

    Regarding the dark comment, I would like to believe the lights for the cop vehicles are on, so while they may have been able to clearly make out a cellphone or something else during daylight, they might not be able to make it out as clearly during the night with light from a vehicles headlight. Again, an emotional response from one side of the fence, without thinking and asking questions from both sides.

    As the last part of my first comment suggested, I am merely asking questions from both sides. My advice to you is to read to understand next time, rather than read to reply.

  10. @Curious: I read the bullshit you wrote and I understand quite well what your argument is insinuating. The FACT is, the victim was running AWAY from the police; he was UNARMED; he was shot in the BACK while running AWAY. None of your ridiculous scenarios qualifies here… mental midgets!

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