Cop ‘saved’ colleagues from angry residents after arrest of alleged gangster in Jamaica

A detective corporal assigned to the Counter-Terrorism and Organised Crime (C-TOC) branch of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) on Tuesday testified that he was the one who sought the help of Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) soldiers when police encountered hostile residents during the arrest of an alleged Klansman gangster in a Kingston community.

The accused, Fabian Johnson, alias Crocs, who was arrested on Beeston Street in Kingston, is among the 33 alleged members of the Klansman gang on trial for various crimes since last September. According to the detective corporal, in June of 2019, he along with two other investigators and Witness Number One were conducting enquiries in the Kingston area when the witness pointed out the accused to them.

The detective corporal said when the police team exited the vehicle to apprehend the suspect they were met with “resistance from members of the community, who were yelling at them in an aggressive manner”. He told the court that he drove to the intersection of Bond Street and Beeston Street and requested the assistance of the military unit that was posted there to assist the police in getting the suspect away from the area and into custody.

The lead investigator in the matter testified in November last year that the attempt to arrest Johnson, who claimed to be a “musician”, drew a hostile crowd, who hurled insults and obscenities at the police team, charging that the officers were aligned to the rival Tesha Miller faction of the gang.

“A lot of insulting languages were being used at the time, some of them were calling the police [expletive], some of them said we are Tesha Miller police and that a Andre Bryan [“Blackman”, the alleged leader of the other faction of the gang] dem seh fi life and other abusive words,” the officer told the court at that time. He said the officers were “tempted to move with Crocs but were spared that trauma as a JDF lorry arrived on the scene with a team of soldiers. He said after speaking with the driver, Johnson was placed in that vehicle and taken to the Denham Town Police Station.

On Tuesday, the detective corporal was amongst three police witnesses who were recalled by the prosecution to corroborate the testimonies of Witness Number One and the lead investigator. The lawman told the court that he, being a trained forensic photographer, was the one to photograph, document, and seal a rifle which the ex-gang member testified that he took from his cronies under the pretext of getting it fixed, but instead turned it over to police investigators. The firearm and the box in which it was sealed — on Tuesday — was admitted into evidence after being identified by the cop as the items he had photographed and handled.

He was, however, taken to task for failing to place an identifying mark on the firearm. The cop, in his defence, however, maintained that he had only been instructed to photograph, box, and seal the item. He further said, like the lead investigator, that the firearm carried no serial number.

On Tuesday, defence attorneys attempted to poke holes in his testimony by grilling him about the fact that the lead investigator had told the court that when he inspected the firearm he had seen the letters SVT inscribed on it, which was in contrast to him saying the weapon was bare of markings. They further took him to task over his notation on the label of the firearm box, which said that the rifle had been turned over to the custody of investigators by the witness on Port Royal Street in Kingston. The lead investigator had told the court that the rifle was transferred to the cops in Portmore, St Catherine.

In the meantime, the detective corporal also identified, for the court, Johnson and another of the accused, former JDF member Jermaine Robinson in the docks. The trial continues this morning when the matter resumes at 10.

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