KINGSTON –– There is now a strong police presence in Rosemount and several adjoining communities in St James where residents staged a fiery demonstration this morning to protest the death of 31-year-old Romario Deane, who was reportedly beaten while in custody at the Barnett Street Police Station on Sunday and subsequently died in hospital.
While there is still uncertainty as to who inflicted the vicious wounds, which left Deane in an unconscious state for three days prior to his death, the residents are blaming the police.
“If the police did not do the beating, where were they when it was happening?” asked one of the protesters.
“The man suffered multiple injuries; so it must have been a sustained beating.”
Deane was arrested on Sunday morning having been caught with a ganja spliff (cigarette).
He was taken to the Barnett Street Police Station.
A friend who went to the police station shortly after midday with the requisite documents to bail him was reportedly prevented from doing so by a police officer, who allegedly took objections to something Deane had said.
When the friend went back to bail Deane at 3 p.m., he learnt that he had been admitted to the Cornwall Regional Hospital.
The friend subsequently discovered that Deane had been beaten into a state of unconsciousness.
Relatives of the deceased man said the police told them that he had been beaten by cellmates, while hospital staff said they were told by the police that the arrested man had fallen from a bunk bed.
Protestors said this morning that they wanted to know the truth about what happened while members of Deane’s family said they would be seeking legal advice as to how to proceed in getting justice for him.