Jury hears of struggle before fatal police shooting
Guardian Senior Reporter
Published: Oct 12, 2013
A policeman pushed Ezra Ferguson several times before a struggle ensued between the two men, an inquest was told on Friday.
Ferguson was shot in the neck during the altercation with Corporal 2587 Sterling Thompson at a fundraiser for the Long Cay All Age School in Crooked Island on March 17, 2012.
The purpose of the inquest is not to determine civil or criminal liability, but to investigate the circumstances of Ferguson’s death.
Bartender Larissa Roberts, who witnessed the incident, said that Ferguson was behaving strangely all day but his behavior was not bizarre enough to not allow him to hold her two-year-old son.
Roberts said Ferguson was holding her son most of the day.
According to Roberts, Ferguson had gotten into a previous argument with O’Brien Bain over a bottle of rum that he had taken. Roberts said that Ferguson returned the bottle after his mother, Bloneva Ferguson, intervened.
Roberts said that Ferguson’s mother was taking him to his dad’s truck when Thompson pushed him and said, “You need to go home.”
She said that Ferguson reacted after Thompson pushed him four more times. She said the men began to struggle. Roberts said that she saw when Thompson pressed a silver object next to Ferguson’s neck and said, “You’re under arrest.”
Roberts said Ferguson did not move or say anything when Thompson pulled the trigger.
She said she ran because she was afraid. Ferguson said Thompson stood over the body with a gun and prevented Nurse Bonaby or anyone else from helping him.
Roberts snapped at Thompson’s lawyer Wayne Munroe when he asked her why she allowed Ferguson to hold her child if he was acting strangely and drinking.
She said, “Didn’t I tell you he was not drinking when he had my son? You don’t know me.”
Coroner Jeanine Weech-Gomez asked Roberts to calm down. She said, “He’s trying to say I’m an unfit mother.”
The inquest continues on October 24 at 2 p.m.