Mario Deane. Eric Riley. Michael Brown. Three young, allegedly unarmed men, allegedly killed either by police or in police custody over the past week.
First, Mario Deane. The 31-year-old was arrested for possessing one ganja spliff near Montego Bay on August 3. Several hours after being taken into custody, he was dead as a result of a beating. Two inmates have been arrested. There is now a web site dedicated to seeking justice for Deane and INDECOM is investigating the death. (INDECOM is an independent body that investigates deaths involving members of Jamaica’s security forces.)
Second is Eric Riley. This 27-year-old man was allegedly shot by police after a verbal confrontation in Rollington Town. According to reports, Riley was on a motorbike and would not comply with an officer’s request to dismount. He was shot and killed. Riley’s girlfriend was pregnant. Residents rioted and burned debris on Mountain View Road, a main artery in Kingston. For what its worth, here is an account from a Facebook friend whose brother witnessed the event, and check out Emma Lewis’ blog for a good account of the events here:
Police system in JA need fixing up….too blasting slappy! Kmt Thank God my innocent brother mek it home todeh. I know what prayers can do….Go around killing innocent youth makes you a murderer not a hero, what about serving and protecting! Feeling utterly disgust. Its time for police brutality to End!!!!!!!! 1 man my bro was with was just killed because they didn’t get off their bike…spurrs of Gunshot and my bro witness much of it. And then u wonder y the country no better when police a Gun men…
And finally (although I’m sure there are many more similar incidents, both in Jamaica and elsewhere, that have occurred over the past week and have gone unreported), Michael Brown in St. Louis, Missouri. The young man, unarmed, was shot and killed by police during a confrontation with police. Residents are looting in protest.
Three young men, allegedly unarmed, all dead at the hands of the state infrastructure meant to protect them. Of course, the only people who really know what happened are those who were present. However, it is always difficult to understand how people without deadly weapons are killed by law enforcement officers.