Sun | Dec 5, 2021

Video-footage expert to assess Kamoza Clarke injuries

Published:Wednesday | March 13, 2019 | 12:00 AMChristopher Thomas/Gleaner Writer


The Trelawny Circuit Court has ordered that a video-footage expert be brought in to examine the injuries sustained by Kamoza Clarke, who died in 2014 as a result of a beating he sustained while in the custody of the Trelawny police in October 2013.

High Court Justice Sharon George made the order during yesterday’s mention of the case against Sergeant Derrick Henry and district constables Onecko Brown and Alwayne Eccleston, the three policemen charged with manslaughter arising from Clarke’s death.

The expert is to attend court on June 12, which is the next mention date for the case, which has been plagued by a number of procedural obstacles.

During yesterday’s proceedings, Henry’s lawyer, Linton Gordon, outlined concerns about the closed-circuit camera footage on which the prosecution will be relying during the upcoming trial. He said it had unaccounted-for time gaps.

“We looked at the tapes, and what we saw is that one scene continues, then there’s a long gap, and then you see persons doing what they want to do. I don’t want to make allegations that the tapes were doctored, but there are gaps in the tapes,” Gordon told Justice George.

However, prosecutor Jodian Edwards countered by declaring that there were several cameras with recorded footage. “There were at least six cameras showing various angles, and the video flicks between cameras at various times. This is something an expert would have to resolve,” said Edwards, who recommended that a video-footage expert be brought in to assist the court.

“Before setting a trial date, we should set the matter for mention and we could have that expert here,” Justice George said, before extending the three defendants’ bail to June 12.

Kamoza Clarke, who was 31 at the time of his death, was mentally challenged. He was reportedly beaten into a vegetative state while in custody at the Falmouth police lock-up in Trelawny. He died four months later at the Cornwall Regional Hospital in Montego Bay.

Clarke’s death triggered protests from several human-rights groups, including Amnesty International and Families Against State Terrorism.