December 18, 2009
‘Mental home failed my brother. Police killed him’

Faustina “Pinky” McKie-Emmons is calling for a full investigation into the death of her brother, a death she feels could have been prevented, had her cries for help been heeded.{{more}}

Pinky, who resides in the United Kingdom, returned home earlier this month to bury her younger brother Kendol “Kenny” McKie. When she visited Searchlight earlier this week, she was still overcome by emotion.

Pinky told Searchlight that she is upset by the manner in which her brother met his death and feels that had he been picked up by mental health officials earlier, his life might have been saved.

Kenny was shot by police on Monday, November 30, during what was supposed to be a routine visit by mental health officials to administer medication to him.

It was reported that the 43-year-old was shot once in the chest by the officer who had accompanied the medical team to McKie’s home.

Pinky said that since late September, she had been making repeated calls to the Mental Hospital asking them to hospitalize her brother.

“I told them my brother is getting so bad and he needs to be taken to the home to be looked after.”

Pinky, who is the mother of four sons, said her brother had stopped bathing and would go to the wharf at Clare Valley and just sit and look out at the sea.

“I told them: ‘This is a very, very, bad sign. You need to get him as soon as possible. Don’t just give him the injection and leave him home’,” she said she had pleaded.

Pinky said the nurse she spoke with told her: “Okay, I will deal with it.”

Pinky, who is a supervisor in the Haematology Department of a large hospital in the United Kingdom, said she even got her ex-husband Gregory Marshall, who resides here in St Vincent, to make calls to the Mental Hospital and the police on her behalf.

“He (Marshall) told me that they said the police would have to pick him up.”

Pinky said when Marshall called the police, he was told that Kenny’s elderly mother Idabell would have to make the request to have him picked up.

Pinky said the last time she called the Mental Hospital was on November 23, a week before Kenny was killed. She said the nurse she spoke with told her that she (the nurse) would ask the police to pick Kenny up.

“In the end, it seems as if no one cared.”

Pinky, however, wants it made clear that as far as she is concerned, no politician is to be blamed for the manner in which her brother, whom she regarded as her first child, died.

“I am not putting politics in it. The community is saying a lot of things, but (parliamentary representative Douglas) Slater has been very supportive to me…. He was very, very, supportive. I don’t want to blame any politician for this…. In the village, they are putting politics in it and I don’t want politics in it”.

“My brother and Slater used to talk good. Even though he never supported Slater,… they got on well.”

Pinky said some residents of Clare Valley are upset with her for putting the parliamentary representative’s name in her brother’s death announcement, and even made derogatory remarks at the funeral service, which was held on Sunday, December 13, at the Clare Valley Seventh Day Adventist Church.

“He (Douglas Slater) is my people…. We grew up together and still remain friends. …He is a friend of the family.”

“The Mental Home failed my brother. They are the ones who failed him. Then the police killed him.”

She said since her return from England, where she has resided since 1982, villagers have given her many conflicting reports about the events leading up to her brother’s death. She is, therefore, calling for a full investigation so that the truth can come out.

“I am still mourning the loss of my brother and son…. I loved him in life and I love him in death. I still love him. There is nothing I can do to bring him back, but I want justice. They could have shot him in his hand, or his leg,” Pinky lamented.