Firearm fraud!

Jamaica Gleaner - - NEWS - Bar­bara Gayle Jus­tice Co­or­di­na­tor bar­bara.gayle@glean­erjm.com

Alert judge stops cor­rupt cops who wanted man sen­tenced on gun charges

ASEEMING 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.

An­dré 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.

EX­PLA­NA­TION IN­SUF­FI­CIENT

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