Thu | Jan 17, 2019

More fireworks expected

Published:Sunday | December 7, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Deborah Martin
Maurice Tomlinson

Attorneys representing police hint at strategy

Livern Barrett, Gleaner Writer

With the first week of the West Kingston Commission of Enquiry dominated by allegations of atrocities by members of the security forces, attorneys representing the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) have signalled their intention to present evidence showing the strength of the firepower that was assembled inside Tivoli Gardens to repel attempts by law enforcement personnel to arrest Christopher 'Dudus' Coke.

Deborah Martin, one of the attorneys for the JCF, told The Sunday Gleaner that the evidence will include video footage and pictures taken inside the west Kingston community in the days leading up to the May 2010 operations.

In addition, Martin indicated that "a number of witnesses" would appear before the commission to testify about the images.

"We are going to show the reason for the issuing of the (arrest) warrant, the basis for and the events leading up to operations as well as footage showing events on the day (May 24, 2010) and events leading up to the day," said Martin.

Although Martin did not go into the details of the evidence she intends to present to the commission, her cross-examination of Maurice Tomlinson, a 40-year-old construction worker who resides in Tivoli Gardens, gave some indication of what is to come.

"Did you see persons (civilians) in Tivoli, from the Thursday (May 20, 2010), walking around in police denim, bulletproof vests, helmets and masks armed with guns?" Martin asked Tomlinson last Thursday.

"No ma'am," he replied.

"I'm suggesting (to you) that persons in Tivoli also had rifles and masks with night-vision goggles (and that) they were being issued in Tivoli from the Thursday?" continued Martin.

"Not that I know of, (is) you telling me (that)," replied Tomlinson, the seventh witness to give evidence at the enquiry.

"Were you aware on the Friday (May 21, 2010) that there were men walking around Tivoli in broad daylight armed with high-powered weapons and handguns dressed in black with tams (hats) over their heads?" continued Martin.

"No ma'am," Tomlinson again replied.

Chairman of the Commission Sir David Simmons interrupted the cross-examination to enquire if that evidence would be shared with the three-member panel.

"We will be," Martin responded before resuming her cross-examination.

"Did you hear any of the information being sent out to persons in Tivoli and the adjoining communities that they were waiting for the police to enter Tivoli so that they could entrap them inside? You know that was the plan?" Martin asked Tomlinson.

"No, is you telling me," the long-time resident replied.

While conceding that he saw one barricade mounted near his McKenzie Drive home, the father of three insisted that, with the exception of police and soldiers, he saw no one in Tivoli Gardens with firearms.

The enquiry is scheduled to continue tomorrow.