Two rising Trinibad dancehall artists were killed by police hours apart in Trinidad raising concerns if law enforcement are targeting entertainers.
On the heels of news that 18-year-old dancehall artiste Jahiem “Chucky Blanco” Joseph was shot and killed by police on September 25 in Trinidad and Tobago, comes news that another dancehall artist has also been killed by police.
According to reports, Josiah “Siah Boss” Mc Clatchie was allegedly killed by police after they were following up on a lead of a suspicious vehicle with men armed with firearms. The shooting took place at Sun Valley Road, Lower Santa Cruz at around 5:30 pm, according to a police report cited by the Trinidad Guardian.
The report also indicated that police saw the vehicle in question driving towards them, and the driver crashed into their vehicle instead of stopping when prompted to do so. Police allege that the driver got out of the vehicle and pointed a firearm in their direction. They fired in his direction, but he ran off.
Siah Boss was eventually caught, and police rushed him to the hospital after realizing he had been shot, where he was later pronounced dead. Two other men who were in the vehicle have since been detained. Police also reported that they found and seized one Smith & Wesson pistol fitted with a magazine containing four rounds of 9mm ammunition. They also allegedly found another firearm, a Black Beretta pistol, in the vehicle. That incident happened on Sunday, September 26.
Unconfirmed reports indicate that Mclatchie was a member of the Rasta City Gang and had only recently decided to join a rival gang known as the Muslim Gang. In 2020, he was one of a group of entertainers who tried to call for peace between the two gangs. The group signed a peace deal agreement at the time.
In the other police shooting, Chucky Blanco is alleged to have pulled out a gun and pointed it at officers who were on mobile patrol. The officers were following up on a report of men being sighted in the area with guns, according to Trinidad Newsday.
Police are said to have spotted the suspicious group in front of a house. The men tried to flee the scene, causing police to give chase. During the chase, it is believed that Joseph allegedly pointed a gun at them. The report further states that while running, the gun fell out of Joseph’s hand, but he apparently drew another firearm and started shooting at the police again.
He was shot multiple times and also died at the hospital. The details of the incident which happened in Trou Macaque Road, Laventille, have been refuted by some residents of the area.
They claim that the artist was performing at a children’s party when he was shot. They believed he was shot because of mistaken identity and maintained that he was just an honest musician.
Both artists had a strong following on Youtube. One of Joseph’s tunes, “KKR,” has over a million views on the platform, while Mc Clatchie’s “Circle Them Ends” also has over a million views. Just two weeks ago, Joseph released a song dedicated to an alleged gang leader, Anthon “Boombie” Boney, who was killed, called “Long Live B Man.”
In March of this year, another dancehall artist known as Bradbadlikethat, whose real name was Brad Bailey, was shot and killed in the Santa Cruz area.
According to police reports at that time, residents of Blackford Street, Cantaro Village, heard gunshots around 10.55 am and saw men running along the street where Bailey lived. He was found a short while after with gunshot wounds.
Police have since tried to reassure the public that they are not purposefully targeting artists in the dancehall fraternity.