Tuesday 2 June, 2020

Chucky Brown denies killing 'Gutty’; says he had to obey his superiors

Collis 'Chucky' Brown, the police constable who is facing three counts of murder, has denied involvement in one of those cases.

Brown made the denial on Monday morning in an unsworn statement in his ongoing murder trial in the Home Circuit in downtown Kingston. 

He said he was not responsible for the killing of Robert ‘Gutty’ Dawkins who he referred to as Damoy ‘Gutty’ Dawkins. The 21-year-old man was shot and killed along the Palmer’s Cross main road in Clarendon, allegedly by members of the so-called police death squad in August 2009. The hit squad allegedly carried out extrajudicial killings in the central Jamaica parish between 2009 and 2012.

The court has been told that squad members routinely planted guns on their victims and made up the evidence with the help of members of the Clarendon Criminal Investigation Branch. Those killings were reportedly carried out by members of the 16-member squad on the instructions of their commanding officer.

Video recordings by the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM), which were played in court, show Brown confessing to his involvement in the killings, whether as a driver of a car that was fitted with fake plates or as an active participant.

However, on Monday morning, he denied being responsible for the death of Dawkins. But, he acknowledged that he was one of the cops who fired on and subsequently killed Dwayne Douglas, otherwise called ‘Murderous’, and Andrew Fearon on the Swansea main road in Clarendon. They were killed in December 2012. However, in his unsworn statement, he said the men were killed after they first opened fire on the police who returned the fire. He said two guns were recovered from Douglas and Fearon.

In his statement, Brown said the men were killed based on instructions from a "superior cop".

Speaking from the dock about the killing of the two men, Brown said: "I received the information from my superior at the time and proceeded to the location with other members. The unit was spotted and stopped by the police. The men hurriedly exited the vehicle, one person came from the rear of the vehicle, opened gunfire at us. I myself and others returned gunfire in their direction."

According to Brown, the men were observed on the ground suffering from gunshot wounds.

His statement contradicts with testimony given by an ex-convict who was also a police informant turned state witness. That witness told the court last week that he provided Brown with information on the men’s whereabouts which allowed him to trail them, ultimately killing them. According to the witness, Douglas, himself an ex-convict, was killed because he had kidnapped the daughter of a don who Brown had allegedly described as his boss. The witness said Brown had told him that Douglas had disrespected his boss.

In his unsworn statement, Brown denied speaking to the informant turned witness. “I had no conversation with him,” said Brown. He said he never spoke with him while both were on remand at the Horizon Remand Centre and that he never told the witness that he worked for dons.

Brown also told the court that he came in contact with INDECOM after he was being blamed for the murder of Adif Washington. Fearing that he was being framed, Brown made contact with a human rights organization where a representative referred him to a former senior cop. According to Brown, a few days later, he received a call from a senior officer at INDECOM who said he could assist him.

“We had a discussion (and) as a result of the discussion a meeting was had in the parish of Manchester.

"I proceeded to the location where I met with Ryan Williams (investigating officer at INDECOM) and a man who identified himself as Hamish Campbell (INDECOM Assistant Commissioner). In the discussion, I was told that I would be meeting with the Commissioner of INDECOM. We had a discussion and I left the location. Certain things were discussed as I was about to leave the location for the protection of my wife and my son,” Brown said.

He told the court that he again met with INDECOM and “certain things” were discussed. He said INDECOM offered to relocate him and his family overseas. INDECOM has denied offering to help Brown relocate overseas.

Speaking from the dock, Brown, who is attached to the Services Branch in Kingston, indicated that he was assigned to the Clarendon Street Crimes Unit between 2008 and 2012. He said it was formed to deal with an upsurge in crime in the parish.

He said as a constable he is “obliged to take directives and follow orders which I cannot question.”

Apart from the three murder charges, Brown, who was freed of murder in a trial in March, is also facing one count of conspiracy to murder and one count of wounding with intent.

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