By Aaron Humes
Free Lance Reporter
Alrick Smith, 52; Sandra Casey, 47; Leon Smith, 22; Tamika Smith, 19; Ishaida Brooks, 20; and a sixteen year old minor have been released on the order of the Director of Public Prosecutions, Cheryl-Lynn Vidal after charges of keeping an unlicensed gun and ammunition were withdrawn in court.
On Tuesday week, the DPP sent a memo to Police advising that the charges be dropped against six of the seven accused – all except a 17 year old boy who remains on remand.
The family, on Monday, July 7, had just laid murder victim Myron Smith, 17, to rest when police visited the Giles Street home in pursuit of two suspects carrying guns.
Police retrieved a 9mm pistol with 13 rounds of ammunition in the magazine and arrested the whole family, despite their protestations that they had no knowledge of the weapon and that it was dropped by one of the fleeing youths.
The charges wereformally withdrawn before Senior Magistrate Frazer in court Tuesday afternoon, after police investigations showed that these persons had no knowledge of the gun found in their house.
The family says it is considering the possibility of suing the police for damages to compensate for emotional distress and other abuses.
The family’s run -in with the law occurred last Tuesday, when members were charged and remanded to prison on a single gun-related charge for a 9 millimeter pistol found on a boy whom the police pursued into their house.
The boy pleaded guilty and owned up to the gun, but the recently amended gun law, which authorizes police to detain all members of a household in such situations, resulted in the entire family being charged.
The family’s arrest has revived the public’s and activist groups’ opposition to the gun law, which has often been described as draconian.