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AUDIO: Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown lawyer join Mario Deane case

Published:Tuesday | August 26, 2014 | 12:56 PM
Mario Deane, of Rosemount, in Montego Bay, while he battled for his life at the Cornwall Regional Hospital. - Contributed

Barbara Gayle and Jerome Reynolds, Gleaner Writers

KINGSTON, Jamaica:

Well-known American civil rights lawyer and human rights activist, Jasmine Rand has joined the legal team representing Mario Deane.

Rand was one of the lawyers who represented the family of Trayvon Martin, the Florida teen who was fatally shot by neighbourhood watch volunteer, George Zimmerman.

The attorney is also now a part of the legal team for the family of Michael Brown, the unarmed teen who was shot and killed by a policeman in Ferguson, Missouri, earlier this month.

Attorney-at-law Michael Lorne, who is representing Mario Deane’s family, says Rand agreed to come on board after hearing about the tragic death of the 31-year-old construction worker.

Lorne further says Deane’s Jamaican legal team has received the support of prominent American civil rights lawyer Benjamin Crump, who is also involved in the Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown cases.

In an email to our news centre Jasmine Rand said human rights violations cannot be tolerated in the USA or Montego Bay, Jamaica.

She further says humanity in itself is universal and what happened to Trayvon Martin affected Jamaicans and what happened to Mario Deane affected Americans.

For his part, Crump, president-elect of the National Bar Association, says injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

"We must fight police brutality and misconduct that ravishes the poor and oppressed in every nation" he said.

Meanwhile, Lorne says he hopes that Jamaicans and the international community will listen to the cry for justice for the family of Mario Deane.

Lorne is to depart the island today as he seeks to enlist support from the international community to help hold the Jamaican authorities responsible for the death of Mario Deane.

According to him, the case clearly resulted from police brutality and or misconduct.

Mario Deane died in hospital on August 6 from injuries he received from an alleged beating at the Barnett Street Police Station in Montego Bay, St James.

Like in the case of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown, Deane’s death sparked national outcry and days of street protests.

The police have maintained that Deane was beaten by cellmates but that has been disputed by his family.

Two inmates have since been charged with Deane’s murder.

At the same time, one police corporal and two constables have been interdicted and three district constables suspended while the police inspectorate continues to probe the matter.

Arising from Deane’s death the Government has implemented a new policy for arrests for small quantity of marijuana.

A Cabinet sub-committee has also been established to develop a strategic response to the issue of treatment of persons in lock-ups and correctional facilities.

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