Still no word from authorities since police shooting, says Shabazz’ father

Rashawn ‘Turtle’ Shabazz
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The man shot by police last month is currently receiving treatment at Clarevue Psychiatric Hospital following his discharge from the Sir Lester Bird Medical Centre on September 16.

However, official word on the August 31 shooting of Rashawn ‘Turtle’ Shabazz has not been forthcoming, according to his father Khalid Shabazz.

“Maybe they will submit that he is an adult and so they may say that according to law nobody is responsible for him… [but] no official word from any authority as it relates to my son,” he told Observer yesterday.

Khalid Shabazz said that getting his son into the mental health facility was not without its difficulties.

“When he was about to be discharged by the hospital, we were told at the ninth hour that he had to get a court order in order for him to be admitted into Clarevue. Fortunately, I had some good people who were able to assist,” he said.

Rashawn Shabazz was hospitalised for 17 days after being shot by the police on August 31 following an incident in St John’s. He lost a kidney and sustained damage to his liver as a result. However, his liver was repaired by doctors, his father said.

According to reports, Rashawn Shabazz – who has been dealing with mental issues for years – was wielding a sharp object and assaulting pedestrians in the vicinity of Perry Bay.

He is said to have attacked one of the police officers who responded to that incident, before being shot with both rubber bullets and live rounds in an attempt to immobilise and detain him.

The incident has sparked widespread discussions about the state of mental health care in the country, and prompted calls for the police to be better trained in dealing with such incidents.

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