You live by the sword, you die by the sword.
That was the response of members of the Enterprise community on Friday after it was learnt that a key member of the Unruly Isis gang was killed by police.
Residents said Jelani Martin, 24, had been responsible for a number of unsolved murders in their community and they hope that his killing would bring some sort of peace in the area. They also accused him of taxing small business people in the area.
Martin, a father of one was the nephew of Allan ‘Scanny’ Martin who himself was shot dead a jail break at the Port-of-Spain State Prison on July 24, 2015. Police described him as killer and big player in the underworld.
According to police reports, at about 4 pm on Friday, Martin was outside the home of a relative of a well-known car dealer along Caroni Savannah Road in Chaguanas when he was spotted by members of the Central Operations Unit.
Well-placed sources said Martin had gone to the house to collect tax (a form of payment businessmen make to criminals to forego being robbed and kidnapped) .
Reports are that on seeing the police, Martin attempted to jump over a fence but failed. He then turned and fired a shot at officers who returned fire, hitting him. Martin was rushed to the Chaguanas Health Centre where he was pronounced dead on arrival. Police had to caution friends and relative who gathered outside the Health Centre, when they shouted threats and accused police of killing an innocent man.
Additional police officers and soldiers lined the street outside the Health Centre to ensure law an order .
Police said Martin was originally from Farfan Street, Diego Martin, but moved to Crown Trace in Enterprise. Police found $22,000 on Martin.
When contacted for comment,, head of the Islamic Front, Umar Abdullah, said just days before he had a meeting with Martin and Abdul “Krysis” Wakeel about changing their way of life.
“They both decided then and there to go back into the community and attempt to bring a positive change. Jelani had agreed to start and was working towards that. Krysis, as we all know, also vowed to continue helping those in the community.”
In relation to Martin’s killing, Abdullah confirmed that they had in their possession footage of the incident and promised that it would be sent to the Police Complaints Authority on Monday morning.
“This is unfair of what the police did and we will be seeking justice. We will go and lodge a formal report and submit the footage which shows far opposite to the police’s claims.”