A bulge in the waist of Kemal Mario Straker initially aroused the suspicion of police constable Juemane Daniel as he was conducting investigations in Reed Street, the City.
But when he attempted to stop Straker, a struggle ensued and a green and black firearm fell from the accused man’s pants.
Those were the facts presented by Daniel in the No. 3 Supreme Court as he gave evidence in Straker’s firearm and ammunition trial.
The 20-year-old Straker of #15 Clapham Park, St Michael, is accused of having a firearm in his possession and nine rounds of ammunition on February 9, 2020.
In his evidence, the police officer said he went to Reed Street, the City around 10:35 a.m. on that date to conduct investigations. He was in the company of two other police constables.
He said while on a block popularly known as Ocean City they went inside a derelict structure.
The officer said while they were there, Straker entered the structure and he noticed a bulge in his waist.
He said Straker was about four feet away from him and his view was unobstructed.
The officer said when Straker saw him he lunged back through the doorway and he pursued him. He said he held onto Straker’s left hand and a struggle ensued.
The officer recounted that during the struggle one of his colleagues shouted, “gun!” and he saw Straker draw a green and black firearm from his waist.
He said the firearm fell to the ground and Straker managed to escape and run away.
The officer said he retrieved the gun and chased Straker who ran along Reed Street and into Hutson Alley. He said he continued to give chase and saw Straker run into the residence of Mitchell Sonny.
He said he pursued him through the house but Straker eventually got away by jumping onto the roof of the garage before making good his escape by running through a nearby track.
The officer said on March 10, 2020, he went on duty to the District ‘A’ Magistrates’ Court No. 2 where he saw Straker. He said he informed him of the incident that occurred on February 9 and arrested him.
The officer said he took Straker to the CID and in the presence of Sergeant Layne he showed him the firearm and the ammunition. He said Straker’s response was “I can’t say nothing about it,” and when asked about the ammunition he said, “I don’t know about them.”
The officer said he had known Straker for about two years prior to the date of the incident and had “seen him four or five times” before then.
Under cross-examination by Straker’s attorney-at-law Bryan Weekes, the police officer admitted that after taking the firearm and ammunition back to the CID the items were not tested for either fingerprints or DNA.
Weekes also queried why the police officer retrieved the gun before chasing Straker suggesting that it was unsafe for the police officer to give chase with a gun in his hand not knowing if it was loaded or not.
Furthermore, Weekes contended that one of the other two police officers that was present could have secured the gun.
“The force’s policy is as long as there is a hostile situation, if need be, you retrieve the firearm or any form of contraband and you continue. However, owing to the situation, there wasn’t any time to stand up or sit down and decide who was going to stay with the firearm,” the officer responded.
Under further cross-examination the police officer said he knew Sonny’s residence as he had previously conducted investigations there.