Wednesday, November 15, was to be a remarkable day of celebration for singer, Romando Brown of Content Gardens, Ocho Rios in St Ann and Charles Town, St Mary. It was to be his 29th birthday.
However, instead the day for him was spent in a cold morgue, lifeless and bloodied, with family members plagued with the elements of grief: tears, disbelief and unending sadness.
A week before his birthday, Brown was allegedly killed by a police officer in what family members have claimed was cold-blood. They have argued that he refused to obey a police officer’s command of handing over a knife on Wednesday night, November 8 sometime between 9 o’clock and 11 o’clock in Charles Town, St Mary.
NO ATTACK ON COP
In an online report on the incident on the website of the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM), who is investigating the incident, they state that “reports from the police are that there was a confrontation with the deceased (Romando Brown) who reportedly attacked a police officer with a knife.”
However, Brown’s sister, Nadisha Brown, has contended that based on information from eyewitnesses, her brother was not violent and had posed no threat to the police officer.
“This (the fatal shooting of Romando Brown), has changed everything in the family now. Everything in our life. There is no closure to this. We can’t see how or why he was killed. If he had attacked the officer, then we would say, he (the cop) would be doing it in self-defense but there is no reason for him (the cop) to kill him (Romando),” argued Nadisha Brown, in an interview with the North Coast Times, a week following the murder.
THE BIRTHDAY PARTY
Romando Brown was an upcoming reggae singer and entertainer, who went by the stage name ‘Yosonjah.’ On November 8, he had gone to a birthday party in honor of Kriston Pearson, popularly known as ‘Instaboss’, who was also shot and killed by a police officer in May of this year.
According to Nadisha Brown, she had heard from persons at the scene that her brother was having a drink at the party and left to go by a nearby shop to purchase something. It was at this time that a police officer, who was driving a police vehicle, was passing and stopped at the shop.
Ms Brown said the cop, who was alone, came out of the vehicle and told her brother to “drop the knife”, which he had.
“My brother said ‘I’m not going to drop the knife. Weh yah go do shoot me?’” she explained.
She said she heard from persons at the scene that the police officer again told her brother to “drop the knife”, but her brother refused for a second time. This was when it is alleged the police officer fired a shot at Romando Brown, which caught him in the chest.
Unconfirmed reports were that the cop took the knife from Brown’s possession, when he fell to the ground before going in the police vehicle and driving off.
DIED AT THE SCENE
Ms Brown said that it was about 11 p.m. that residents came to the family home and told them that Romando had been shot.
“When we went there, we saw him lying face down in the ground in a pool of blood. He appeared dead to us,” Ms Brown said.
She indicated that her brother died at the scene as persons did not want to move him or risk having the blood on their vehicles.
The day following Romando’s killing, saw residents of Charles Town and Three Hills blocking the road to protest their anger at the killing.
A candlelight vigil was held last Wednesday in Charles Town.
“We (the family) are mourning, community members, friends, everybody is just mourning. It is just unbearable. We are lost as to how this officer could be so careless,” explained Ms Brown.
Ms Brown described her brother as a loving person, especially to his children and to his nieces and his nephews. He leaves behind two children, a six month old son and a six-year-old daughter, who he supported well.
She said that the family is praying and has been asking God each day to guide, protect and keep them strong.
Romando Brown was the fourth of nine children for his parents.
In the meantime, Ms Brown is hoping that justice will be served in the case. She said that INDECOM is continuing with their investigations.