Kelvin found! But questions linger

By Michelle Sutherland
Staff Reporter

Kelvin Usher, the teen whose disappearance on Sunday sparked intense public outrage and conspiracy theories, was found alive and well on Thursday morning. Despite being found, members of the public remain unsatisfied with the official account of events surrounding his whereabouts.

Five days of tireless search efforts, intense pressure on the Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) and substantial anguish experienced by the family, came to an end on Thursday morning after Usher was found.

Late Thursday evening Kelvin’s mother, Karima Williams, told the Reporter that her son was not held hostage, shot or assaulted by officers of the GSU, as many commonly believed. In fact she confirmed ACP Chester Williams’ account of the event – namely, that Kelvin got lost in the surrounding area after fleeing gunfire on Sunday afternoon.

According to official reports, Kelvin Usher wandered around in the wilderness for four days. He survived on wild berries and water and spent his nights in trees. On Thursday morning, he decided to use the sun as his guide. This led him to feeder roads and a farm, where the farm owner fed him berries and tomatoes. He then followed a feeder road which led him to the Old Northern highway and a happy reunion with his father, who happened to be driving by at that very moment.
Kelvin went missing on Sunday in Lucky Strike village after the GSU raided a farm with guns blazing. His father, Cameron Usher, was apprehended and later charged by officers for cultivating a small marijuana plantation.
While the officers reported that they had only fired four or five warning shots in the air upon entering the farm, witnesses dispute that account, claiming to have heard as many as 15 shots.

Adding to the intrigue of the case, the GSU returned the following day to assist in the search for the teen. Interesting to note, no expended shells were found on the scene and villagers in the area reported seeing a portion of the road blocked by the GSU on Sunday, following the raid.

Police reported the incident on Monday, but did not disclose that another person had fled the scene, nor that they fired warning shots.
As more details of the case were revealed, public and social media support for Kelvin grew to fever pitch height. The inconsistencies and demands for answers resulted in an impromtu protest, which at one point gathered in front of the Queen Street Police Station on Wednesday. By Thursday morning, SJCJC students walked out of classes in a show of solidarity for the Usher family.
In response to growing concerns, Prime Minister Dean Barrow held a press conference and stated that the GSU’s controversial tactics, its role and function would be reviewed and reassessed.

A candlelight vigil scheduled for Thursday evening, organized by concerned citizens, turned into a thanksgiving service. But even as press time neared, tertiary level students and community activists remain wary of the authorities and used the momentum to highlight other social injustices occuring in the community.

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