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Police will not test for gunshot powder residue in Henry Jemmott investigation

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Superintendent Henry Jemmoth killed in San Pedro

Posted: Friday, May 28, 2021. 3:57 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: As part of their investigations, the coroner and police must determine whether the gunshot that likely killed Superintendent of Police Henry Jemmott was deliberately self-inflicted, accidentally released by himself or someone else, or was deliberately fired.

It was once considered beneficial to a police investigation to swab the hands and other extremities of persons who had fired a gun for any reason for the pattern of gunshot residue (GSR).

But Commissioner of Police Chester Williams told us that neither Jasmine Hartin, now in detention at San Pedro Town Police Station, nor Jemmott will be tested, as the technique is now considered less useful in terms of a police investigation.

“Doing the [GSR test] is not something that law enforcement agencies across the world have been doing, for the simple fact that it produces many inconsistent results,” said Williams, using as an example a person deliberately firing a gun and then being tested and found negative for GSR despite knowingly firing a weapon.

Inevitably, such tests are admissible in court and used by attorneys to cast doubt on their client being the killer, so agencies have desisted from using it, the Commissioner said.

Police recovered Jemmott’s Department-issue weapon and will likely test it as part of their investigation.

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