JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The Minister of National Security, Hon. Peter Bunting, MP, views with grave concern, reports of Mario Deane, an inmate of the Barnett Street Police Station in St. James.
  • Deane succumbed to injuries received while in police custody.
  • Minister Bunting has further instructed a review of the approach which sees the police arresting citizens for small quantities of marijuana.

The Minister of National Security, Hon. Peter Bunting, MP, views with grave concern, reports of Mario Deane, an inmate of the Barnett Street Police Station in St. James, succumbing to injuries received while in police custody.

According to the police, Deane, who was charged for possession of a small quantity of marijuana, was attacked by fellow inmates on August 3, 2014 and succumbed to his injuries at the Cornwall Regional Hospital, Wednesday, August 6, 2014.

Minister Bunting has further instructed a review of the approach which sees the police arresting citizens for small quantities of marijuana.

He stated, “Minister Mark Golding and I, have requested the Attorney General to research the law to see whether, pending an amendment to the law, we can make it the policy of the Police to proceed by way of summons in these cases (possession of small quantities of ganja) rather than by way of arrest and detention. This would be consistent with the stated policy direction of the government and help to address the issue of overcrowding in our lockups, while reducing the administrative burden to deal with these cases.”

While this matter is being investigated by the Independent Commission of Investigations, INDECOM and the police, the Minister requested that the Acting Commissioner immediately examine the arrangements for supervising detainees, to ensure the safety of those in the custody of the state.

The Minister has also expressed condolences to the family and friends of Mario Deane for this tragic and unnecessary loss.