Firearm fraud! - Alert judge stops corrupt cops who wanted man sentenced on gun charges
A seeming attempt by members of the police force to fabricate evidence to secure the conviction of a Corporate Area man on a firearm charge has been thwarted by an alert judge.
There has also been a call for Police Commissioner Carl Williams to launch a probe into the case.
Andre Frazier, a 23-year-old student, was facing the possibility of a long stretch in prison after being charged with illegal possession of a firearm which the police claimed they found in a bed he was sleeping in.
But when the matter came before Supreme Court judge Martin Gayle in the Gun Court recently he spotted a major inconsistency in the evidence produced by the police.
Gayle noticed that the search warrant and the ballistics expert report had the same serial number for the firearm allegedly taken from Frazier.
That discovery prompted the judge to question the police witnesses about the authenticity of the search warrant.
Gayle questioned how the serial number for the gun was written on the search warrant before the firearm was found.
One of the policemen told the court that the search warrant was written up and taken to a justice of the peace to be signed before they went on a raid to the premises where the gun was found.
But that explanation did not satisfy Gayle as it did not clarify how the cops would know the serial number of a gun they had not yet seized. Gayle immediately stopped the case and freed Frazier.
"In my opinion, this is a clear case where one of two things took place: either the gun was planted and therefore the police would have known the serial number and inserted it in the search warrant, or the search warrant was written up after the gun was allegedly found and the serial number inserted," said attorney-at-law Michael Lorne, who represented Frazier.
He argued that either way it would have been illegal and the judge was entitled to stop the case.
Lorne charged that this was a corruptible attempt by the police to convict the young man, and argued that it is a case that needs urgent investigation by the police commissioner.
"We find it much too easy for the fabrication of evidence in regard to the finding of firearms and ammunition and shooting at the police, and we should find a way to end the fabrication of evidence," said Lorne.
Insisted on innocence
He noted that Frazier had always insisted that he was innocent and had denied that any warrant was read to him or served on him.
The police had testified that on the morning of August 15, 2011, acting on information, they went to a house in Kingston where they saw Frazier and a young woman in bed.
They said Frazier was sleeping, and when they turned on the light in the bedroom they had to pull him away from the woman.
According to the police, a search warrant was read to Frazier and a copy of the warrant served on him.
The police further charged that during a search of the room, they found the gun underneath the mattress.
Frazier was arrested and charged with illegal possession of firearm and ammunition.