NDM President Peter Townsend has condemned the killing of Mr. Mario Deane a Jamaican citizen of St. James at a Montego Bay Police Station after being arrested over an allegation regarding a ‘ganja spliff’.

The NDM President has expressed shock and outrage at the killing of yet another Jamaican in the care of (agents of the) state and begs to differ with Justice Minister Mark Golding’s view that the main issue in this latest dastardly and draconian act of the police is about the need for ganja law reforms but is rather of the view that the issue goes beyond a ‘ganja’ spliff and speaks more of continued police excesses and an abusive, uncaring culture practised by successive governments.

The NDM condemns the both the Government and the Opposition for the hypocritical, self-serving photo opportunity statements in their effort to use another unnecessary Jamaicans’ death to try to show they care.

The NDM says that these State abuses have a very long history, going back to the politically motivated 1976 State of Emergency and the introduction of the Suppression of Crime Act, which gave the police the most atrocious powers to abuse the Jamaican people – A most despicable piece of legal parliamentary abuse of power which extended over both the PNP and the JLP administrations.

The NDM is of the view that a change of attitude and behaviour of police personnel is necessary to bring a halt to the wanton abuse of our citizens and further called for fundamental changes to the police force: Cultural, organisational/structural – which includes reorientation; renaming of the police (from “force” to “service”); recruitment of new and better educated members who will be trained in forensics and intelligence gathering; The appointment and reporting of the Police Commissioner by and to Parliament rather than to a Minister (as in the cases of INDECOM, the Electoral Commission and Political Ombudsman).

Peter Townsend
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