July 17, 2012
Homeless man seeks redress after being shot by police

A man whom police shot in both legs during the Carnival season wants legal redress.{{more}}

Elvis Browne, 46, of Redemption Sharpes, told SEARCHLIGHT yesterday that police shot him on June 26, while he was lying on his side with one leg on top the other.

His legs are in casts and he was re-admitted to the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital on Thursday.

Five days ealier, when Browne was discharged from the hospital, he told the staff to take him back to his “home”, an “old, abandoned” building near the post office in Kingstown.

When he was re-admitted last week, the wound on his left leg was bleeding slightly and the cast stank, he told SEARCHLIGHT from his hospital bed yesterday.

He said doctors have said that the smell is because of the blood, but his wound is not at risk of infection.

And the father of two grown children, 18- and 20-year-old mothers, wants opposition senator Vynnette Frederick to take up his case formally.

Frederick, a lawyer, has been using Facebook to call attention to Browne’s situation.

“Ah need she to find out the reason why I been shot,” Browne told SEARCHLIGHT.

Frederick told SEARCHLIGHT yesterday that Browne had not spoken to her in that regard.

She said that she was not in a position to accept his case, but was prepared to work along with other lawyers who said they were interested in doing so.

Her initial concern, Frederick said, was about Browne’s physical well-being.

Browne said police shot him at around 4 a.m., while pursuing one of his friends — a man who also lives in the building.

“I was home where I living in the old abandoned place. They come and shoot me and asking me whe’ side this guy run …”

Browne told SEARCHLIGHT that while he knows the man, whom he identified by name, they were not in each other’s company the night of the incident.

He said earlier that morning, he was hungry, after waking up at around 1 or 2 a.m. and had gone to a bakery to beg for bread.

“When I reach by Bambi, I hear some foot running behind me like horse. When I look back, I see the same man wha’ me and he is friend and a officer running him down,” Browne said.

Browne said cops from the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) were pursuing his friend.

“He drop whatever he had and he run,” Browne said of his friend.

Assistant Superintendent of Police Elton Jackson, who heads the CID, told SEARCHLIGHT yesterday that his officers did shoot Browne.

He, however, said the matter was being investigated and he could not comment beyond confirming the shooting, date, and location, which corresponded with Browne’s account.

Browne further told SEARCHLIGHT that police came to the building, put a gun in his face and “in my throat”, and kicked him as they asked about the whereabouts of his friend.

He said one of the four cops hit him with a piece of PVC conduit and another said he should be left to bleed to death.

But the cops called the ambulance to take him to the hospital, Browne said.

“They tek me and leave me down here like a hog,” he said, adding that since he didn’t “commit” himself, police did not need to guard him, as was the case with another patient on the ward.

Browne said he quit using cocaine 18 months ago, but still smokes marijuana. He said he lives in the abandoned building because of “financial problems”.

“At the age that I in, I should have been in my own place.”

He said that while Frederick had visited him at the abandoned building and had bought him a meal, he did not tell her the whole story.

“I ain’t really tell her everything like I telling you here, ‘cause was night,” he said.

“I really totally upset about this thing here because I been shot, my foot them totally broken for nothing. …

“So I need some kind of legal step into this shooting in my foot. … I am a poor man. … The lawyer tell me she will help me in the best way she can,” he said of Frederick.

Frederick called Browne’s situation to the attention of Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace, who raised it with the Commissioner of Police, Keith Miller, according to one of her Facebook posts.