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Jamaica’s Security Minister Peter Bunting last night announced that cops can no longer arrest people for possession of small amounts of ganja but must, instead, serve them with summonses.

The announcement came just minutes after the constabulary announced that six cops had been suspended and interdicted for their role in the beating death of 31-yearold Mario Deane.

Bunting, in a release to the media, said he was in receipt of a memorandum from the Attorney General’s Chambers, and after discussions with Acting Police Commissioner Glenmore Hinds, it was determined that the constabulary will apply certain guidelines to people charged with minor offences, such as possession of small quantities of ganja.

Bunting said the Government was committed to making the necessary policy and legislative changes to avoid the recurrence of such a tragedy.
Deane was arrested for possession of a ganja ‘spliff’ by cops in Montego Bay, St James last week Sunday, and was taken to the Barnett Street Police Station.
His bail was denied by a female cop after he allegedly expressed his dislike for the police.

The police had reported that Deane was allegedly beaten by prisoners in his cell, but the dead man’s family and community members have accused the cops of lying. They claim that the cops had told doctors at the hospital that Deane had fallen off a bunk. But the family says a doctor had told them that, in his medical opinion, a fall could not have caused the type of serious injuries which Deane had sustained.
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