Wed | Aug 21, 2019

Mom in fear after cops shoot, charge teen

Published:Tuesday | August 13, 2019 | 12:22 AM

The mother of a 15-year-old boy charged with breaches of the Firearms Act is expressing fear after releasing a video in which she blasted the police for shooting her son five times on Emancipation Day.

The teen appeared in the Children’s Court yesterday on charges of shooting with intent, illegal possession of a firearm, and illegal possession of ammunition.

The matter has been transferred to the Supreme Court, where it is scheduled to be heard tomorrow morning.

The child’s mother, who The Gleaner will not name to protect the identity of the minor, said she was worried, not just for the safety of her son, who is in custody and recovering from gunshot wounds, but for herself and other relatives.

She told The Gleaner that her son was lucky to be alive after the August 1 shooting incident, which she believes was intended to take him out for good.

“I’m very concerned also for our safety. Every police vehicle mi see, mi scared. I’m a Christian and have faith, but because I made the video after they shot him and reported them to INDECOM (the Independent Commission of Investigations), you never know.”

Providing a receipt dated July 9, she told The Gleaner that she, her husband and child met with investigators at INDECOM and gave a report that the child’s life was being threatened.

According to the mother, the incident involving her son took place 23 days after she reported to INDECOM that a policeman attached to the Kingston Central Police Division had threatened to take the life of the youngest of her three children.

The teen was reportedly shot in his buttocks, left leg, back, left side and left hand.

However, the police say that the incident took place while the teen, who has a criminal record, had a court order in place for him to be on curfew, which required him to remain at home between 5 p.m. and 6 a.m. daily.

Police report that on August 1, about 9:35 p.m., the teen fired shots at a police team that was on patrol on Barry Street in downtown Kingston.

... He suffers from ADHD

Superintendent of Police Robert Gordon, head of the Kingston Central police division, says he is not aware of any threat made by the police to a teen whose mother is now in fear after he was shot five times by lawmen on Emancipation Day.

Gordon sought to shed light on what the police say is the latest of several incidents involving the teen and run ins with the law.

“I can tell you that the police were on patrol in the area. They came under gunfire from men in the area. Young [name withheld] turned up at Kingston Public Hospital and was positively identified as one of the men who shot at the police,” Gordon said.

“[He] has been in conflict with the law over the course of time. At the time of the shooting, he should have been at home, coming out of a court order.”

Gordon however, placed blame squarely at the feet of the teen’s parents.

“It is sad, that babies like [him] … living a life of crime. It is the failure of adults to care for their children, that leads them to go to a life of crime. It was out of a criminal act he was given a curfew order, so what caused him to be out with criminals?”

The child’s mother told The Gleaner that her son has a curfew order but, because it was a holiday, she was lenient with it.

When asked by The Gleaner why her son appeared to be a troublemaker and how she felt about it, she said: “I feel so bad about it because we trying with him. He’s a ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) child … . He is 15, but him look like 20. He didn’t shoot at the police. He is not a saint but he is not a gunman. Him don’t hear, him love street and company. He has been before the court for the past two years.”

The mother said that with her son injured and in custody, the police are still showing up at her home and say it is because of her video.

She also accused the police of offensively quizzing her 15-year-old grandniece while conducting their search.

“They pulled my grandniece one side and told her they would pay her if she showed them where ‘the gun deh’, and she is a national representative in football. What gun?”

The police said this was the third time the teen, a suspect in numerous shootings in the Kingston Central division, has been charged.

They say he was charged twice in 2018, first with unlawful wounding and then for being armed with an offensive weapon as well as escaping custody.

His mother said law enforcement is trying to build a case against her son who has never, before now, been charged for a gun-related crime.

Her son is also scheduled to return to court on the violation of curfew order and other related matters on October 15.

andre.williams@gleanerjm.com