Tommy Lee Sparta shed tears as he turns himself into police once again.
Dancehall artiste Tommy Lee Sparta was detained at the Freeport Police Station lock-up in Montego Bay, St James, following his surrender yesterday. The “Rich Badness” deejay, whose real name is Leroy Russell, turned himself into detectives at the Freeport Police Station on July 7. According to the Corporate Communications Unit, the official communications medium of the Jamaica Constabulary Force, Tommy Lee was asked to surrender himself to the Freeport Police Station by midday yesterday to answer questions about the increase in violence in his hometown community of Flanker.
Fans chastised law enforcement for their constant targeting of the popular artiste. Over the past four years, he has been named a person of interest by the police on three separate occasions. Although many had hoped that the situation would have been sorted out in short order, it seems the police have other intentions as the artiste was detained and subsequently spent the night in lock-up.
Speaking with The Jamaica Observer about last night events, Tommy Lee’s legal representation, Ernest Smith, stated that he was being held under the current state of public emergency (SOE) laws governing St James. “He has been detained. He has been taken into custody for the purpose of interviews with C-TOC [Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime Investigation Branch] and OCID [Organized Crime Investigations Division], and other agencies of the State,” he relayed.
Sharing key details of the police’s investigation he explained, “They have no charge against him; they want to question him. He has not been told anything of any offense he has committed. He has not been told that he is inciting anything. He is just told that he has influence over a gang by the name of Sparta Gang. My client is not part of any Sparta Gang or any gang for that matter.”
Unsure of the length of time his client is being detained for, Smith has devoted himself to being present for the questioning which was rescheduled for today, “So I will make myself available starting from 11:00 am tomorrow [today] and to go on as long it takes for Tommy Lee to resume his normal life,” he stated.
Speaking out about the tactics used by law enforcement in the detainment of Uncle Demon Smith declared, “What they have done is very wrong…Asking him to come from a safe place — where there’s no state of emergency — to a place where’s there a state of emergency, and to use the emergency powers in existence in St James to hold a man, who does not live in St James. He left St James 12 years ago.”
According to Tommy Lee’s attorney, the artiste was extremely emotional upon being named as a person of interest. He stated that “he broke down in tears” because, despite the fact that he no longer resides in Flanker, he is still being negatively impacted by its occurrences. Smith pointed out that Tommy Lee Sparta is most upset that at the peak of his career, he is being brought down by matters that do not concern him and by malevolent forces.
He went on to add, “I am confident, based on the instructions that he has given me, that he’s not involved in any form of wrongdoing; he’s not directing any operations of any Sparta or any other gang. Let us see what comes out of these interviews.”
Based on the State of Emergency laws, individuals who are detained can be held for up to 90 days without being charged. We will provide updates on the matter upon the conclusion of the question and answer session being conducted today.