Debris burn as protest intensifies in St Thomas


ST THOMAS, Jamaica — Debris used to block the Bath main road here on Tuesday was a short while ago relit by residents in protest against Monday’s killing of 63-year-old farmer Alvin Allen by the police.

Residents, angered by the killing, which they claimed is a case of murder, blocked the main road in several sections on Tuesday morning, cutting off the thoroughfare to vehicular traffic. They also lit fire to some of the debris, which consisted of tyres and old refrigerator, among other things.

Police were maintaining a presence in the community, but there was no attempt by them, when OBSERVER ONLINE was on the scene, to remove the debris. A new blockage was mounted Tuesday night as the news team was leaving the area.

Reports are that Allen was shot dead in a section of the community around 10:00 Monday morning in an alleged shoot-out with the police. Ammunition was also reportedly seized after the incident.

However, Allen’s loved ones and residents are claiming that the elderly man was murdered by the police.

Residents told OBSERVER ONLINE that Allen was not a gunman and has never been involved in a conflict in the area. His hand was not fully functional because of an injury, they claim.

“I would like these people who murdered him to go to prison,” sister of the deceased, Dawn Allen, told OBSERVER ONLINE. “Is only sensibility why I don’t say I want them to be killed.”

Allen’s brother Junior Prussia said he wants his sibling’s hands tested as this would show that he wasn’t firing a gun.

Another sister, Shirley Prussia, said: “He’s not a criminal. He’s an old man. He’s a friendly person.”

The family is in the process of reaching out to a human rights group in their quest for justice.

The Independent Commission of Investigations is probing the shooting.

Paul Henry

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