By Elesha George
Attorney Warren Cassell is accusing a number of police officers of trying to intimidate witnesses who were present on Saturday night when his client and a police officer got into a dispute. According to his client, Johnathan Joseph, the confrontation culminated in Joseph being viciously beaten.
Cassell said he was on the scene of the incident Thursday morning when the officer at the centre of the allegations drove by and saw the attorney speaking with witnesses.
“I was informed that subsequent to my departure, other officers came on the scene and took into custody some young persons living in the area who were there at the time, roughed them up, and dumped them on the street further down the road,” Cassell explained.
“So apparently there is some sort of intimidation that’s happening,” he told Observer media.
Joseph, 26, claims he was standing outside his home on Saturday night when an officer summoned him using the wrong name.
An argument ensued and Joseph was injured in the process. He claims he received 11 stitches to the head from countless blows with a police baton.
He also alleges he was followed, thumped in the eye and pushed into his own home by the officer, before being transported to Mount St John’s Medical Centre by other law enforcement authorities. He spent the night in hospital and was released the next morning.
Two days later, Joseph was arrested and charged for failing to comply with curfew restrictions, resisting arrest, making use of indecent and threatening language, being armed with an offensive weapon and battery of a police officer.
The police have denied the claims and said the officer was acting in self-defence after Joseph got rowdy when told he would be arrested for violating curfew. Joseph and his father both claim Joseph was provoked by the officer.
Nevertheless, Joseph’s attorney believes his client has a strong case in fighting the charges against him.
“I’ve looked at the charges and I feel confident in saying that it is more likely that the police officer be elected the next president of the United States than those charges going anywhere,” he told Observer media.
Joseph, through his lawyer, is suing police for assault and battery stemming from Saturday’s altercation.
Police spokesman Inspector Frankie Thomas declined to comment on the intimidation claims, saying the matter was before court.