Ambrook Lane men freed of shooting at cops
Two men who were wrongly identified by the police following a firefight in which a policeman was shot and injured were last Monday found not guilty in the Home Circuit Court.
Raheem Tulloch and Al Johnson, both of Ambrook Lane, St Andrew, were acquitted of charges of illegal possession of firearm, wounding with intent, and shooting with intent after a nine-day trial before Justice Leighton Pusey.
The prosecution led evidence that on the night of January 24, 2020, covert police officers were on patrol in Ambrook Lane when they reportedly passed a group of men, including Tulloch and Johnson, at a bar.
On their way out of the community, a man who reportedly appeared to have a bulge at his waist walked past the service vehicle. He reportedly ran when they tried to confront him.
They then allegedly heard a gunshot from the direction in which the man had run.
The court further heard that the police were about to chase the man when they heard shots coming from the direction of the bar that they had passed.
The police claimed to have turned around and seen persons, including the two men who were charged, in the middle of the road firing at them.
During an exchange of gunfire, one policeman was shot in the leg and the service vehicle severely damaged.
After the injured policeman was taken to the Kingston Public Hospital for treatment, the two men, who were also shot, turned up at the hospital indicating that they had been injured by unknown assailants in the Ambrook Lane community.
Both were arrested and charged by the police, who identified them as being among the shooters.
However, during the trial, the men’s attorneys argued that they had been wrongly identified as the shooters and that they were victims of the firefight.
The attorneys also successfully challenged the police’s account of the evidence.
Attorney-at-law Kemar Robinson, who represented Tulloch, said there were a number of inconsistencies identified in the prosecution’s case.
“Where the police said the men were firing at them from, which was in the middle of the road, it turns out that the spent casings, which would have been coming from the gunmen’s firearms, were not found in the middle of the road,” Robinson said.
“And the scene-of-crime investigator gave evidence that the area was dimly lit, while both accused said that the area was dark, so they could not even see who were firing at them, but the police claimed the area was bright and that they could see,” the lawyer added.
Robinson further pointed out that his client, who had been recovering from a gun attack a month earlier that had left him badly wounded after he was shot five times, could barely move and that the evidence from his doctor at the trial had also helped to vindicate him.
Both men, who were shot at different points in the community, had spent almost a year in custody.
Johnson was represented by attorney-at-law C.J. Mitchell.