Sun | Apr 23, 2017

PM wasn't silent - Deane's mom

Published:Tuesday | August 19, 2014 | 8:00 AM
Mario Deane's mother, Mercia Frazer.
Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller.
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Adrian Frater, News Editor

WESTERN BUREAU:

Mercia Frazer, the mother of Mario Deane, the Montego Bay man who died as a result of injuries sustained from being beaten while in police custody, said Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller telephoned her to speak about the incident.

"I got a personal call from the prime minister last week in which she expressed condolence to my family and sought to comfort us," said Frazer, in an interview with The Gleaner yesterday.

"I was moved by the manner in which she spoke and I could feel her sincerity," Frazer told The Gleaner.

Simpson Miller has come under attack from the parliamentary Opposition and some members of civil society who have accused her of being silent on the issue. Deane was beaten in a lock-up at the Barnett Street Police Station in St James on August 3. He died three days later.

Simpson Miller told supporters of the People's National Party at the North West St Ann Constituency Conference on Sunday night that she did not comment earlier because the matter is under investigation. She also said two government ministers, Peter Bunting and Mark Golding, have already spoken publicly on the issue.

Frazer said that having spoken to both the prime minister and Bunting, the national security minister, she was now much more hopeful that the investigation into her son's death was being treated seriously.

MUCH MORE HOPEFUL

"While I am not totally satisfied with all aspects of the investigation, I think the matter is now being taken quite seriously at the highest level," said Frazer. "I am now much more hopeful than before."

And, as the various pieces of the investigation continue to fall in place, the Area One Police Division, in which the Barnett Street Police Station is located, has completed and submitted its part of the island-wide audit of police facilities that Bunting said he wanted on his desk by yesterday.

"We have submitted a detailed report as requested," said Assistant Commissioner of Police Warren Clarke, the commanding officer for Area One. "It was submitted in the time specified."

Meanwhile, Lloyd B. Smith, the member of parliament for Central St James, the constituency in which Deane resided, yesterday said that he stood ready to assist the family with funeral expenses from his Constituency Development Fund. He also said that the Government was also standing by to offer additional assistance.