The National, Tuesday July 16th, 2013
FOUR members of the police mobile squad two (MS2) were suspended from work and held in police custody for their alleged involvement in the assault of a youth in Manus, resulting in his death last weekend.
Acting divisional commander for Islands region Supt Anthon Billie said this yesterday that that had also caused tension within the local communities.
He said members of the MS2 currently in Manus on operational duties at the asylum processing centre were deployed to Lorengau to assist local police in the election operations.
Billie said the youth was allegedly drunk and behaved in a disorderly manner.
“The youth was taken to the police station by the MS2 and locked up but he managed to escape and went to ward 7 where counting was being conducted and threatened a police woman and caused destruction there,” he said.
“Some bystanders intervened and stopped him. He then made his way to the Lorengau market and caused more trouble and was picked up again by MS2 and taken to the station and locked up.
“Police, when checking him later, discovered he was unconscious and took him to the hospital but he had already died.
“A post mortem will be conducted to establish the cause of death but in the meantime four police officers were suspended for suspicions of assaulting on the youth after initial investigations were conducted.
“They have been detained and suspended from official duties and an independent investigation team from Kokopo will be deployed to Manus to carry out further investigations.”
Bille said the Manus police commander, Alex N’drasal, and his officers managed to contain a road block in Lorengau town on Sunday by people protesting against the action by the mobile squad members.