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Embattled cop sought help from INDECOM

Observer staff reporter

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

A senior Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) official yesterday testified that Constable Collis “Chucky” Brown voluntarily met twice with the agency in August 2013 and implicated himself twice after revealing that he was a part of a police team that was involved in “killing and shooting people”.

“He informed us of his activities in a police team where he was involved with other police officers in shooting and killing people, “Assistant Commissioner of INDECOM Hamish Campbell said yesterday during his evidence-in-chief in the Home Circuit Court in respect to the first meeting which occurred in a hotel in Mandeville, Manchester, on August 6, 2013.

Hamish further told the court that during the second meeting, which occurred four days later at INDECOM's office in Kingston, “He (Brown) was telling us not only about what he had done, but what other police officers had done and how they had done it.”

“Did he say anything that that caused you to form the view that he was implicating himself?” lead prosecutor Caroline Hay asked Campbell.

“At the time it was quite clear,” he answered.

However, when questioned why he had not cautioned the officer then, Campbell explained that he was concerned about his safety and the safety of the investigator, Ryan William, who was armed and was with him as Brown had a weapon too and they were in a small room. Also, he said that he did not want to change the tenor of the meeting by suddenly informing the officer that he was now under caution. But the witness said that at the end of the meeting he had requested another meeting with Brown and had advised him to bring his lawyer, as he would be under caution then.

According to the INDECOM official, Constable Brown had initiated the first meeting, which Campbell described as an “unburdening of the issues very quickly” by the accused constable.

The INDECOM witness testified that Brown, during the first meeting which lasted between 15- 20 minutes, was very relaxed and amiable at first and spoke quickly about what was on his mind.

However, Campbell said the constable during the meeting was also frustrated with the police high command and upset at the way he was being treated by senior officers in respect to a fatal shooting incident that occurred at May Pen Hospital.

When asked if Constable Brown had given a reason for speaking, Campbell said: “He was angry with the Jamaica Constabulary Force for being falsely accused of a shooting incident at May Pen Hospital. They had seized his gun and they removed him from operational duty. He knew a lot of details about that shooting and he believe he was being unfairly treated in respect to the matter.”

The INDECOM assistant commissioner said the officer hinted that he had already spoken to a human rights advocate and also stated that he had spoken with a former commissioner of police and wanted to bring the matter to the attention of the media.

Campbell said that Brown also explained that he wanted his lawyer to write to the commissioner of police outlining his concerns.