From the Courts
January 29, 2010
DPP: Teenagers wrongfully arrested

Jemark Jackson and Kemron McDowall were wrongfully arrested.

During cross examination in the matter of the alleged police assault on Jemark Jackson, Director of Public Prosecutions, Colin Williams pointed out to officers Osrick James and Hadley Ballantyne that they did not have any right to arrest the youngsters.{{more}}

James, in his evidence to the court last Friday at the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court, said that they arrested Jackson and McDowall on suspicion of being involved in a fight, which occurred at the Dr JP Eustace Memorial Secondary School on November 17, 2008.

The DPP asked: “Where is the authority you had to arrest Jemark…you were abusing your authority, man?” James replied: “No!”

Williams told James that they should have been equipped with a warrant to arrest both boys. “You just can’t go and arrest somebody suspected of being in a fight, without a warrant. If the police witnessed the fight, then they could have arrested the men,” Williams stated.

James, however, stuck to his story that Jackson and McDowall were arrested for their involvement in a fight. “They were taken up on inquiries,” James said.

James told the court that when he arrived on the scene where the fight allegedly took place, someone told him something. He added that he did not ask if anyone was injured.

“What kind of police are you? If you arrest him for being in a fight, then where is the virtual complainant in the matter?” James responded: “There was no formal report made and there was no complainant.”

James and two of his colleagues: Ballantyne and Casankie Quow are charged with assaulting Jackson at the Criminal Investigations Department Offices in 2008.

The DPP and the defendants’ counsel, Arthur Williams, are to address the court today to conclude the matter.(KW)