Protestors making their way along Fort Street (Spokesman Snap by Precious Mills). Inset photo of deceased Tau Johnson

By: Spokesman Newsroom

BASSETERRE, St.Kitts (Friday 7th June 2019)– A police report released this week relating to the investigation of the July 2018 controversial fatal traffic accident involving 20-year-old Tau ‘TJ’ Johnson does not sit well with critics who are still demanding answers. 

In an exclusive interview with this media house, one of the individuals who participated in a ‘Justice For TJ’ protest last year said “the report does not add anything because answers are still needed almost year later.”

According to him/her: “To me it’s like a smokescreen… a cover up. It is very vague. I hope that at least if they gave a report to his parents it was something different.”

Commenting on calls by some individuals that the CCTV footage should be released publicly, he/she commented:  “Yes, to show transparency and to clear name fully since this is the case. I agree.”

An autopsy report revealed that the “accident victim” died as a result of acute internal blood loss due to a ruptured aorta sustained in the vehicular accident.

The autopsy was performed by Forensic Pathologist Dr. Valery Alexandrov.

Johnson, on the occasion of his 20th birthday, was involved in what police said was “a fatal accident” on Saturday 7th July along Wellington Road after he tumbled from a motorcycle in what police described as a police chase.

Some eleven days after (Wednesday 18 July 2018), a silent group of protestors took to the streets which saw a  featured scores of young people, mostly teenagers and persons in their 20s.

The protest kicked off at Greenlands along Cayon Street then turned on to Church Street whereby participants stood outside Government Headquarters for about a minute or less.

Next, the procession moved onto Liverpool Rowe then Fort Street then onto Cayon Street where demonstrators stood outside the Basseterre Police Headquarters for more than fifteen (15) minutes.

Individuals who took part held the position that an injustice was done, accusing the authorities of a cover up and thus demanding answers.

SEE FULL POLICE PRESS RELEASE BELOW:


June 04, 2019

      FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

STATEMENT ON THE INVESTIGATION SURROUNDING THE DEATH OF TAU JOHNSON

It has been brought to the attention of the High Command that the information regarding the investigation into the death of 20-year-old Tau Johnson was not made available to the public. Johnson was involved in a fatal accident on July 07, 2018 along Wellington Road.

In an official report received from the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) in late January 2019, it was stated that based on the evidence provided from the independent investigation and the CCTV footage, the vehicle driven by the police officer was not driven in a manner which posed a danger to the deceased or members of the public. The police was in pursuit of the deceased who failed to comply with a siren request to stop.

The report also confirmed that, “an independent vehicle examiner found no evidence that the vehicle made contact with the motorbike driven by the deceased.”

It concluded that, “on the evidence available, there is nothing to suggest any careless, reckless, or dangerous driving on the part of the police officer. It is not recommended that any criminal sanctions be brought against the officer involved.”

The High Command apologises for the delay in releasing this information. Upon receiving the report from the Director, there were certain legal stipulations which restricted the subsequent release of the same. The Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force continues to abide by its mission statement to uphold the law fairly and firmly, without fear or favour, to prevent crime, to pursue and bring to justice those who break the law, to keep the peace, to protect, help and reassure residents and visitors and to be seen to do all this with integrity and impartiality.