Taking lessons from Mario Deane's death
THE EDITOR, Sir:
I join with others in condemning the tragic circumstances under which Mario Deane lost his life. While Deane was in custody, the police literally became their brother's keeper. We the people entrusted the security of Deane's life and that of the other detainees/inmates to them. Therefore, moral responsibility for the loss of Deane's life, howsoever caused, falls to the police.
The fact that no member of the force has as yet resigned over this bizarre incident shows that this principle is not taken seriously by them. The interdiction of those police personnel on duty should really have been unnecessary as the consciences of those in authority at the station on that day, along with those members of the force who knew what was happening but did nothing, should have guided them to offer their resignations. Only when responsibility is accepted can we expect change.
As Bert Samuels, attorney-at-law, has said, this "reeks of the Agana Barrett tragedy". This may, therefore, be an opportune time to seek to ascertain whether justices of the peace (JPs) are carrying out their duty of performing regular visits to the lock-ups to ensure satisfactory conditions. According to the brochure available on the Internet, the information gleaned by the JPs on these visits must be reported to certain persons only ... , "all information gleaned by the justices must remain confidential and not be released to the public under any condition".
What is done with the information when it gets to the designated authorities? For an issue which has plagued our country from the time of Paul Bogle up until now, is it good enough that this type of information is not available to the public? Sometimes, it's only exposure which helps to resolve seemingly intractable problems. Maybe the tragic occasion of Mario Deane's death will help us to ask and hopefully answer some of these questions.