‘Yuh train fi kill people jus suh?’ - Woman distraught after cabbie dad slain in police shooting
Kerry-Ann Palmer is demanding answers from the Independent Commission of Investigation (INDECOM) about the death of her father, 64-year-old taxi operator Harrison Palmer, who was killed in controversial circumstances during a police shooting last Friday.
The police information arm reported that an unidentified man was fatally shot about 12:45 p.m. at the intersection of Metcalf and Nuttall streets in Denham Town and that one Browning pistol containing five rounds was seized at the scene.
Palmer said she was told that her father had gone on a charter job with two young men. Upon entering the community, shots were fired.
Her father was attempting to leave the community with the passengers when the vehicle met with fire from the police.
“All my father car dem have ‘God Alone’ printed on it, and that has been his mantra over the years. If it was a mature police, they would’ve known him, ‘cause everybody knows ‘Laxe’,” Kerry-Ann told The Gleaner on Tuesday, referring to her dad’s nickname.
“Dem coulda blow out di tyre dem. Yuh train fi kill people jus suh?”
The senior citizen was a taxi operator for more than three decades and it had been less than six months since he had returned to the streets, plying the Bond Street and Spanish Town Road route, as he was battling with deteriorating eyesight.
“I’m now thinking that is better we never fight fi him can see ‘cause he would’ve been in the house sitting down,” she said, adding that he visited Cuba years ago for medical treatment and began having problems with his vision again in the last few years.
Kerry-Ann told The Gleaner that her family has been having a difficult time coming to terms with Harrison’s death.
“My father had a tremendous relationship with all of his children. He has been a breadwinner to all of us. He had five of us, four girls and one boy,” she shared.
When passing the taxi stand, even as an adult, the 35-year-old said her father would always offer to give her money.
“Even on Father’s Day, instead of taking gifts or money from me as a daughter, he would be the one saying, ‘Yuh know me have some money fi gi yuh,’” she said.
Kerry-Ann told The Gleaner that he also had good relationships with his passengers, some of whom he would transport even when they did not have fare.
President of the Transport Operators Development Sustainable Services, Egeton Newman, condemned the killing, noting that Palmer’s death brings to 26 the total number of cabbies slain while on duty.
“It’s the second taxi operator this year who has been killed in confrontation with the police in that specific area,” Newman lamented.
On January 27, Shawayne Armstrong, 25, was shot and killed after a policeman fired one round, allegedly through the windshield of his Toyota Probox motor car.
Newman said that the transport group is yet to hear about any developments in the case.
“We are calling upon the citizens of the community to say what they know so that the hierarchy of the police can be aware of the situation and put justice where it ought to go. It’s too much for us now,” Newman told The Gleaner.
Up to press time, INDECOM could not be reached for a comment on the details surrounding Palmer’s death and the police Corporate Communications Unit did not have an update.