Wednesday, Nov 20, 2019
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Transport of prisoners to and from court still a problem

Not much has changed about the way police transport prisoners to and from court since a shootout occurred near the courts 14 years ago.

Just last month, a woman rushed up and kissed a man on the cheek as he was escorted from Supreme Court to the holding cells at the station.

Chief Superintendent Emerick Seymour, the commanding officer of the Central Police Station, said that”should never have happened.”The woman was standing behind the barricades designated for spectators before she rushed up to her friend.

According to Seymour, the soon-to-be-completed Magistrates’Court Complex on Nassau Street will solve security concerns created by walking inmates to court as the holding cells are in the basement of the new complex.

However, he conceded that officers would still have to walk inmates to and from the Supreme Court.

For now, Seymour said officers are posted through Bank Lane to ensure that contact between civilians and inmates is nonexistent.

Police erected barricades through Bank Lane in November 2010 to limit access to the courts’surroundings, following a clash with police and spectators in November 2010.

Two police officers were injured in the mayhem that spilled from Bank Lane onto Bay Street following the murder arraignment of Javan Colebrooke, who is accused of the stabbing death of Lynden Bethel Jr. at Club Illusions on East Bay Street.

Following the incident, Seymour said police would ensure that only persons with legitimate reasons would be allowed on Bank Lane. Seymour said he was pleased with the current arrangement, which he said is constantly under review.

Speaking shortly after a woman gave a gun to convict Jackson Clarke as he was led back to the lockup at the Central Police Station in February 1997, the late Assistant Commissioner Basil Dean said,”We have to rethink our whole method of security and escort of prisoners in light of what happened here. We have to change our strategy with respect to security and that will be done almost immediately.”

Clarke received the gun while walking near the Cenotaph and he opened fire on his escort as he ran towards East Street. Clarke also tried to commandeer an unmarked police car from an undercover detective, who shot him in the shoulder.

At the time, Dean said the person who passed the gun to Clarke came into close proximity to him during the escort.

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