Crowd hurled abuse at cops trying to arrest suspected gangsterTuesday, November 30, 2021
BY ALICIA DUNKLEY-WILLIS
Drama accompanied the arrest of accused Fabian Johnson, otherwise called Crocs — one of the 33 alleged members of the St Catherine-based Klansman gang now on trial — on Beeston Street in West Kingston in June 2019, the lead investigator in the matter yesterday testified.
According to the detective, who is assigned to the Counter-Terrorism and Organised Crime Investigations Branch (C-TOC), his attempt to arrest Johnson, who claimed to be a “musician”, drew a hostile crowd who hurled insults and obscenities at the police team, charging that the cops were aligned to the rival Tesha Miller faction of the gang.
“A lot of insulting languages were being used at the time, some of them were calling the police [expletive], some of them said we are Tesha Miller police and that a Andre ['Blackman', the alleged leader of the other faction of the gang] Bryan dem seh fi life and other abusive words,” the cop told the court.
He said the police were “tempted to move with Crocs” but were spared that trauma as a Jamaica Defence Force lorry arrived on the scene with a team of soldiers.
He said after speaking with the driver, Johnson was placed in that vehicle and taken to Denham Town Police Station in the company of himself and another investigator.
Asked by the prosecutor leading the evidence how they came to be in the area on that particular day, the detective said he, acting on intelligence provided by Witness Number One — a former member of the gang-turned-Crown-witness — had travelled in an unmarked vehicle to the area in the company of two other detectives when they saw Johnson seated at the front of an unkempt premises.
Earlier in his recollection of the incident, the detective told the court that Johnson, when asked if he was called “Crocs”, denied the moniker, stating, “Officer, a Fabian Johnson mi name.”
The detective told the court that after he identified himself to Johnson and informed him that he was being arrested because he was a suspect in a gang-related investigation, Johnson declared, “Officer, mi a musician, a Octane [I-Octane real name Byiome Muir] record mi.”
The detective said Johnson, once at the station, requested a phone call. When asked who he wished to call, he reportedly said he was “going to call his big woman Steph”. When asked by the investigator if this person was Stephanie Christie, otherwise called “Mumma” [the sole woman amongst the 33 now on trial], Johnson replied in the affirmative.
The detective, who said he dialled the number on behalf of the accused, told the court that he heard Johnson tell the person on the other end that “police pick him up and that he's at the Denham Town Police Station [and] dem tell him seh dem tek him in fi gang”. He said the conversation continued for a short period after which he told Johnson to cut the call.
Also yesterday, in addition to Johnson, the detective identified accused Kemar Harrison, Rushane Williams and Stephanie Christie in the dock.
The Crown, in opening its case on September 20, had said Christie was the “liaison officer” between incarcerated members of the criminal outfit and those roaming free. Christie, the court was told, was also responsible for securing legal representation for the members of the gang whenever the law caught up with them and was also the “link” between the gang and rogue cops.
However, her attorney, Alexander Shaw, has presented his client as a dedicated church and community woman with a mundane nine-to-five in a stationery store and not a top-ranking lieutenant in the outfit.
The Crown is alleging that the accused, between 2015 and 2019, carried out a range of murders, conspiracies to murder, extortion and arson throughout St Catherine. It said the gang's headquarters at Jones Avenue in Spanish Town was used by gang members for planning their exploits and was also where briefing and debriefing in respect of crimes took place.
The court also heard that this was where transactions, such as the sale and purchase of guns to carry out murders, were done. Several members of the gang, in their roles as “foot soldiers”, the court was told, were responsible for ensuring that murders ordered were executed and that extortion monies were collected.