Following a probe at the anti corruption branch of the security forces three police officers will face the Spanish Town court in St Catherine on June 18, 2013 after they were accused of shaking down two homosexual men who were allegedly caught in a compromising position in a car in bushes off the Hellshire main Road. In January the three police officers allegedly demanded five hundred thousand dollars not to press charges against the men; seventeen thousand was paid over the them but unbeknownst to them they were recorded by one of the men during the forced negotiations and handed over the materials to investigators, the cops are Special Corporal Tyrone Harvey, Lamore Small (Constable) and Lorraine Williams (Constable) are charged with soliciting money. The story has subsequently gotten mainstream coverage as well and some discussion came of it in light of the new probing body in the security realms to include using lie detectors and other methods to scrutinise their members and disciplinary actions where needed prior to any public actions.
I too was approached in my buggery case alongside my three other charges back in November 1996 first by phone then by face to face meetings by persons seem to be cops who knew of or were close to the case as it moved through the system. Even when we were taken around to several police stations on the morning in question after we were picked up and a story fabricated that we were in a compromising position when all we were doing was loitering unfortunately by the ocean side yet condoms were found to be used as exhibits and so on. The would be extortionists wanted at the time four hundred thousand in other words one hundred thousand each as it was four of us and promises were made that the file could be made to disappear, another set of figures were banded about to go as far as to make the matter disappear from our police records as well but we stoutly resisted such attempts as we knew we were not guilty and our lawyer (not told of this at the time) said we had a strong case to get off the malicious charges. We were just in the wrong place that early morning and we paid the price for it. The case lasted over three years and was finally adjourned sine die with no new evidence by the prosecution as is the rule for such adjournments to reactivate the case. We have all since moved on with our lives and here I am today an advocate a product of an unjust system towards homosexual males in particular.
Most cases of buggery involving consenting adults caught in the act whether penetration is properly proven or not via the all important doctor’s report I learnt years later following my own experience hardly ever go to full trial or lead to a conviction as the precedent set is that of instances involving and older perpetrator and a younger victim in other words same sex paedohphilia which does not imply the sexual orientation of the alleged perpetrator, some rouge cops and corrupt persons in the systems know this and hence target some persons with such matters in shakedowns and offers of making files and documents disappearing.
Other community members over the years have been the “victims” of the practice back in the days and even recent reports suggest that at LGBT events cops have targeted persons for all kinds of reasons including suspected illegal activity and hence huge sums are allegedly demanded for protection or non pursuance by them to take legal steps for arrests or detention. Cops also target the parties as well every now and again and wait until the sessions end then set up roadblocks for no apparent reasons while pretending to search vehicles then cutely worded approaches are made to demand money, also under the guise of the night noise act have been used as well where even in geographical zones cops turn up to turn off parties sometimes well before the 2am deadline and when promoters try to negotiate leniency a sum is neatly requested where some promoters do pay while others stand their ground, I have had my equipment seized (as a DJ) in this dishonest practice under pain of arrest and exposure but we stood our ground and in one instance got the higher ups involved. Playing on the community due to the fear and avoidance of shame where matters are extremely public is just disturbing and shows the lengths some members of the force will go and bring the authorities into disrepute and losing credibility.
Other supposed male position compromisers caught in the outdoors also have had demands made of them and indeed the mainstream has its fair share of these accusations against rouge cops case in point the current public trial of a business man, opposition Jamaica Labour Party, JLP stalwart Daryl Vaz and famed decorated policeman Superintendent James Forbes whose reputation has taken a beating since the news first broke of a traffic charge bribe and attempted coverup by all named, the presence of two or three statements by another police officer involved in the issue has also raised eyebrows thus far and many are waiting for Supt Forbes side of the story, for now we are told via media reports of the trial that two thousand dollars was offered clandestinely to the officer who was ticketing the businessman involved but he eventually refused the bribe to make the ticket production stop however the politician and the Superintendent were made to get involved to apparently make the officer cower in taking action.
There was a case also of a shakedown that went bad some ten plus years ago as well where the accused officer employed threatening means with his cronies including targeting the family of the young man who was this time allegedly involved in same sex activities at his rented flat where neighbours called the cops to supposedly stop the practice. All the more reasons why the buggery law needs amending via decriminalization in my view as although the practice has not produced such “legal break-ins” the possibility still exists for just a phone call to cause such intrusion on private property; even crossing the threshold of one’s domain without a search warrant for that matter as has happened in Jamaica overall for many years. The case also in Montego Bay some years ago too where the men were removed from their domicile and paraded in full nude by foot to the police station while members of the public jeered them to their shame and embarrassment.
The infamous transgender case in Bayside Portmore some years ago is also a stark reminder of the practice as well where a pre-operative male to female transwoman who was stopped by cops after they suspecting suspicious activity in bushes as well with another male and a similar shakedown was allegedly carried out but upon realising the transwoman had breasts things took a turn and an attempted outing was done in public; due to the profile of the transwoman in terms of her high end vehicle and so on as those trappings play a key role in how cops approach persons as well the demanded amount was said to be high, she refused the advance by the cops and was charged and made station bail, the case went to court and the attempted extortion was made known in the short trial, she was eventually acquitted and walked free as the charges could not stick since the other party was not held or found in the matter. Also the awful police raid in Montego Bay at a former LGBT nightclub as well comes to mind, see more HERE.
Some attempt will be made to try and track this latest story since it has become so public and see where the courts take it and if the men will be also eventually charged for anything seeing the cops initial action has been compromised by their own alleged corrupt act.
Peace and tolerance
They are Constables Grace-Ann Williams and Lamore Small and Special Corporal Tyrone Harvey.
When the matter came up in the Spanish Town Resident Magistrate's Court on Tuesday, the court was told that a call data report was still outstanding.
Resident Magistrate Marcia Dunbar-Green said that personnel from the Communications Forensic Cybercrime Unit should subpoenaed.
Allegations are that in February this year, the three cops saw a car parked along the Hellshire main road in bushes. Upon investigating, they reportedly saw two men in the vehicle in a very 'strange' position.
The court heard that the cops allegedly asked the men for $500,000 if they did not want to be taken into custody and charged.
The court further heard that the complainants were taken to an ATM machine and money was withdrawn. A sum was paid over to the accused cops.
The matter was reported to the police Anti-Corruption Branch. A file was compiled and sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions, who ruled that the three be charged with breaches of the Corruption Prevention Act.