Monday, August 10, 2020

Cops make Tommy Lee cry

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Dancehall artiste Tommy Lee Sparta was moved to tears after police listed him as a person of interest.

Ernest Smith, the entertainer’s attorney says the entertainer believes a cop at the Freeport Police Station has a personal vendetta against him.

Smith told THE STAR that with tears in his eyes, Tommy Lee Sparta asked the cop “What have I done to you why you’re doing this to me?” Smith said that after accompanying his client to Montego Bay on Tuesday to turn himself in to law enforcers who wanted to question him, the artiste was detained under the state of public emergency (SOE) in the parish.

Smith also said that he was informed at the station that the entertainer had a question-and-answer (Q&A) session set for yesterday morning at 11, with the Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime Investigation Branch (C-TOC ) and Organised Crime Investigations Division. But when they turned up, C-TOC had no knowledge of any Q&A.

“Freeport police wasted my entire day today (yesterday),” he said. Smith said that the cop in question told him that he had made arrangements for the Q&A sessions and interrogations to begin on Wednesday.

“When I eventually got in touch with C-TOC, they told me that he (the cop) had made no arrangements with them to interview Mr Leroy Russell (Tommy Lee Sparta’s given name); no arrangements at all,” Smith said. “C-TOC were very apologetic. Now C-TOC themselves have decided to take the bull by the horn and has set up the interview for 11:30 on Friday morning and so I’m going to have to go back to Montego Bay on Friday.”

Smith also said that he called the lawman 27 times without answer.

“I sent him text messages to ask what has become of the arrangements and he never answered. In my opinion, he deliberately misled us,” he said.

Despite his concerns, Smith expressed confidence that after the Q&A session is conducted on Friday, his client would be set free.

“The officer that I spoke to at C-TOC is a decent, honest policeman and he said that he is going to make sure that it is done. I believe it will be done, so let us see what happens on Friday. He (Tommy Lee Sparta) has to remain there (in lock-up) until then but I expect him to be released after the private session,” said Smith.

This is the third time in four years that the entertainer has been listed as a person of interest by the police.

In 2016, detectives in the Kingston Eastern Division listed him as a person of interest in relation to a shooting incident on Saunders Avenue in Kingston.

The following year, the Freeport Police Station asked the deejay to turn himself in for questioning in relation to a shooting in the Flanker community during the Christmas holiday.

In 2017, Smith said that Tommy Lee Sparta was pursuing a $20 million lawsuit against the State. He said his client had faced discrimination, and that his rights as a citizen were breached by the police who refused to grant permits for shows on which he was booked.

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