Sat | Oct 21, 2017

Death squad trial | Accused cops report they were challenged by gunmen

Published:Wednesday | February 22, 2017 | 12:00 AMLivern Barrett

The so-called police death squad trial yesterday heard testimony that the two accused policemen gave investigators identical accounts that they were challenged by gunmen during the February 2010 shooting incident that resulted in them being arrested and charged.

Detective Inspector Balvey Thomas testified that Corporal Roan Morrison and Constable Collis Brown acknowledged firing their weapons during the incident, but reported that they did so during an exchange with gunmen along Windsor Avenue in May Pen, Clarendon.

Thomas, who was then a sergeant assigned to the May Pen Police Station, said the accounts were relayed to him when he turned up at the May Pen Hospital minutes after the shooting.

He said following his discussions with the two policemen, he saw the body of a man lying in a police service vehicle, while another man was being treated in the hospital's emergency unit.

Thomas said he immediately instructed the two policemen to proceed to the May Pen Police Station, turn over their weapons and have their hands swabbed. Both men complied, he testified.

He told the court that Morrison and Brown (also known as Chucky) reported to him that they were on duty at the May Pen Police Station when they received information that there were "men in the Windsor Avenue area in May Pen extorting business persons and robbing higglers".

According to Thomas, the two policemen reported that they went to the area and saw four men fitting the description of the extortionists and robbers.

"They called out to the men and identified themselves as police officers and told them to stop," he said, recounting the report made to him.

"Two of the men pulled firearms from their waistband and opened fire at them and they returned the fire. Two of the men fell and they called for assistance to take them to the May Pen Hospital."

The trial continues today.

livern.barrett@gleanerjm.com