Attorney for the family of Keyan Alexander, is raising suspicion over the police report of his death and believes that it may be a case of extrajudicial killing.
Speaking to the media late Tuesday afternoon, Tiyani Bihanzin, who is representing the family of the deceased man, stated that sometime after 7 a.m. that day, the family was asked to come to identify the body of Alexander who it is said, abducted 12-year-old Kernisha Etienne from her home in Warner about 11:30 p.m. on June 7.
Alexander, a resident of Belles, was shot by the police on June 18, 2022, on day 11 of their search for him and the missing child. The police said he was armed with a cutlass which was approximately three feet long.
According to Behanzin, he arrived, with the family, at the hospital sometime after midday and they were given instructions on how they should proceed from an officer dressed in army fatigues who presented himself as the person in charge.
“His instruction was that the family, which would be the brother and the mother, would be able to enter the autopsy room, identify the body, then proceed to inspect the body,” the lawyer stated.
He went on to explain, “The reason why the family is interested in inspecting the body, is because he has certain distinguishable marks on the body and they want to ensure that those were seen and that the area of injury, which have yet to be publicly disclosed by police, could be seen in their own eyes. “
Behanzin goes on to say that moments before, while the family was preparing to put on the protective clothing to enter the room, another officer appeared and gave “completely contradictory” instructions.
“He suggested that they should run in the room, see the face and run back out,” the attorney revealed.
He said when the family requested clarity on what should be done, the officers went to a back room where they proceeded to make several phone calls.
The lawyer said that he too made several unsuccessful attempts to get in contact with the chief of police and other top-ranking officers to ascertain the instructions that were given.
“The family [has] been waiting here for more than four hours to carry out what normally takes five minutes to accomplish and complete and it seems to me, that this is clear shenanigans by the police, given the fact that nobody is clear as to where the individual has been shot,” Behanzin noted. “So it cannot be that the family is told to come and identify and we’re sitting here with no other instruction to clarify the contradiction between the two sets of instructions, and expect the family to remain here.”
He said it was suspicious that the state was prepared to undergo an autopsy without the family’s involvement, and “very unusual”, to also show the body to the jury at the inquest in the morning before it had been identified by the family.
“The jury is normally shown the body in the presence of the family who identifies the body. That is unlawful conduct. It may be that we bend things here because we’re a country that is used to this kind of behaviour and conduct where nothing is important, not even the Constitution or whatever principles or requirements that that document suggests that the conduct should be,” Behanzin stated. “So I’m not surprised, but it seems to me that this may be an example of an extrajudicial killing. And we are saying and we are asking the public, to please be mindful, be cognizant of what is going on here, because it can happen to anybody.”
Bihanzin stated that such “shenanigans” are unacceptable, and only prove that there may be some kind of “machinations taking place, and masquerade as if there is some interest in injustice. “
“We remain vigilant to ensure that the family receives the questions and answers that they want. But this is beginning to look like extra-judicial killing, “ he said.
The veteran lawyer continued, “The same way the police said that under the injuries that this individual may have sustained, he gave a long explanation as to where this child may be found, now we’re suspicious of that because if the gentleman had received the injuries that we suspect he has sustained, I don’t know in what capacity at all you’ll be able to give any statement.”
He said all of this only serves as a distraction from finding the missing 12-year-old.
The police reported that in committing the offence, Alexander went to the home of his uncle, Laurent Joseph Bruno, the adopted father of Kernisha Etienne, and attacked him with a cutlass inflicting serious wounds to his head and face, before leaving with the girl.