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Jamaicans protest Mario Deane killing in New York ... Deliver petition to Consulate

Published:Thursday | August 28, 2014 | 8:00 AM

 Adrian Frater, News Editor

Western Bureau:

Jamaicans in New York yesterday added their voices to the ongoing call for justice for Mario Deane by staging a protest at the Jamaican Consulate in New York. The 31-year-old construction worker died on Independence Day, three days after sustaining a brutal beating at the Barnett Street Police Station in Montego Bay.

"The protest took place but it was not on the compound of the consulate ... . It took place across the street," said Derron McCreath, the consul at the Jamaica Consulate in New York. "After the protest, persons from the group came to the consulate and handed us a print-out of a petition with signatures from their website. They left with a promise to return with the document with the original signatures."

The protest, which was organised by New York-based Jamaican Michelle Bradshaw, was aimed a registering the diaspora's disgust over the incident, which was sparked by Deane being arrested for a ganja spliff and then, allegedly, being denied bail for unjustifiable reasons.

The protesters had promised that the petition would have contained some 100,000 signatures of persons who have joined Deane's family in calling for justice for the deceased man, whose record, prior to the 'spliff' arrest was impeccable.

"We welcome the overseas attention as hopefully, it will lead to us getting (the) justice we are seeking for my brother," Sadiki Deane, sister of the deceased man told The Gleaner prior to the New York protest. "All we are seeking is the truth and justice."

Trayvon Martin lawyer

The journey to justice appears to be progressing smoothly with news that American lawyer, Jasmine Rand, who was on the legal team representing the family of Trayvon Martin, the Florida teen who was fatally shot by neighbourhood watch volunteer, George Zimmerman, has joined the local team led by Miguel Lorne. But Sadiki Deane said the situation was taking both an emotional and financial toll on her family.

"We are yet to get any of the support that was promised to us ... so we are now turning to the public for assistance," the grieving sister told The Gleaner on Tuesday.

The matter of getting an independent pathologist to view the autopsy on their behalf, which was one of the primary concerns of Deane's family, has seemingly been settled with news that famed former Chief Medical Examiner for New York City, Dr Michael Baden, will be examining the body next Tuesday at the Cornwall Regional Hospital.