A 34-year-old barber who was shot by police and later charged with illegal possession of a firearm was found not guilty in the Gun Court in Kingston on Wednesday.
Xavier Thompson, a resident of Kingston 11, was freed after his defence team, consisting of attorneys Peter Champagnie, QC, and Javed Grant, punched holes in the testimonies of two policemen.
It was alleged by two cops that on the afternoon of December 16, 2020, Thompson, while walking towards them and on being instructed by them to put his hands up in the air, pulled a firearm from his waistband and pointed in their direction.
This resulted in one of the police officers pointing his M16 rifle in the direction of Thompson and firing. The policeman testified that he fired fearing that he was going to be shot by Thompson.
According to the cops, after the M16 was fired, Thompson turned and ran towards a yard away from them. The police followed a trail of blood that led them into the yard and to a house from where Thompson emerged holding a little girl as a shield.
The policemen testified that Thompson was covered in blood. A search of the yard was done and a gun matching that which it is said Thompson had, was found.
But under cross-examination by Champagnie, it was revealed that the police shot the barber Thompson in his back. Champagnie also brought to the court’s attention that the gun that was said to have been found in the yard, was subjected to ballistic testing and DNA testing.
The results of all of these tests did not suggest that Thompson came into contact with the firearm that was purportedly found by the police.
The cops also admitted, under cross-examination, that they did not observe any blood in the area where the gun was said to have been found.
Champagnie suggested that the police version of what transpired was inconsistent with where on his body Thompson received his injuries. Thompson, through his attorney, had submitted that he was shot in his back without any justification from the police and that the gun, which was said to have been found, was planted.
Barber wins case against cops after being shot, charged Jamaica Observer