Cop faces more fire over conduct of ID parades

BY TANESHA MUNDLE
Observer staff reporter
mundlet@jamaicaobserver.com

Tuesday, April 09, 2019

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DEFENCE attorney for one of the alleged members of the Uchence Wilson Gang yesterday suggested that the identification parade that was held for his client was not fairly conducted.

Attorney Donald Bryan made the suggestion while cross-examining the police sergeant who had done the identification parade with his client, Dane Edwards, in 2018. The police sergeant, however, disagreed.

Bryan suggested to the sergeant that during the identification parade a police officer who had brought the witness went into the room where the suspect and the other men in the line-up were and reported to the witness what the suspect looked like, but this, too, was denied by the sergeant.

The attorney further suggested to the sergeant that he was wrong when he testified that Edwards was standing in position number three when he was positively identified, as he was in position number five, a claim the sergeant dismissed.

The sergeant, however ,admitted that Edwards following the parade remarked, “A cook unuh cook up dis.”

Bryan then told the sergeant that the statement from his client was the truth but he said, “No Sir.”

Bryan joins other defence lawyers in the trial who have suggested that the identification parades that were conducted for their clients were unfair and involved irregularities.

Last Friday, attorneys Denise Hinson, Sasha-Gay Shaw and Cecile Griffiths-Ashton all took the police sergeant who had conducted the identification parade with their clients to task for what they too suggested was an unfair parade.

They all suggested that the two witnesses were wearing hazmat suit during the parade, which made it impossible for their clients to see who was pointing them out. One of the lawyers suggested that an attorney who was present had objected but the police witness said no objection was raised.

The police sergeant who was being questioned about the witnesses wearing the hazmat suit said he recalled the witness dressed in something like an overall with a hoodie attached, but that the hoodie was removed from the witness' face during the parade and in other instance said he could not recall if the witness had been dressed in a hazmat suit.

Another police sergeant who had conducted one of the ID parades said that he recalled one of the witnesses wearing what he described as a “monkey suit” with a hoodie attached. He said the hoodie was removed during the identification parade.

Uchence Wilson and 23 of his co-accused, including four women and a police corporal, are being tried on various charges, including breaches of the Criminal Justice Suppression of Criminal Organisations Act (Anti-Gang Legislation) and the Firearms Act.

The trial will continue today before Chief Justice Bryan Sykes.


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