Policemen sacked over death at Tafa’igata
Two Police Constables have been sacked and one other could lose his job following an investigation by the Police into the death of Hans Dalton.Mr. Dalton was a mentally ill man from New Zealand who was found dead in a gallon of water on Boxing Day, last year. A prisoner has been charged with murder. He will appear in Court next week.But an investigation by the Police found that the officers were “negligent” in the performance of their duties when Mr. Dalton was in jail.Assistant Police Commissioner, Le’aupepe Fatu Pula, declined to reveal the names of the officers.But he said they were found guilty of “neglect of duty in relation to Dalton’s murder.”“They pleaded guilty and were charged under the Police Tribunal when they appeared in front of the Commissioner,” said Le’aupepe.“They have been dismissed [from work].”Another officer is awaiting his fate pending a decision from the Police Tribunal in relation to Dalton’s case.In an interview with the Samoa Observer Tuesday, Le’aupepe said the two policemen were found guilty before the Police Tribunal last week.An investigation was conducted by the Professional Standards Unit following confirmation that Mr. Dalton was murdered.When the news broke about Mr. Dalton’s death, the Police said they had suspected suicide.The story changed when one Patrick Crichton, who was in prison for killing a taxi driver, was charged with murder. While his Court hearing is pending, the Police launched their investigation.“They were dismissed last Wednesday,” Le’aupepe said of the officers. “One other policeman has pleaded not guilty so he is waiting for a day to appear in front of the Tribunal.”Mr. Dalton was found dead, upside down in a 44-gallon drum of water.Meanwhile, the latest developments in Mr. Dalton’s death have given Leitu Tuilaepa hope.Mr. Tuilaepa is the father of Perry Tuilaepa, another mentally ill man who died in similar circumstances to Mr. Dalton, two years ago.About Mr. Dalton’s death, Mr. Tuilaepa pointed out: “They said it was suicide and then they changed their minds and said it was murder.“The Police said (Mr. Dalton) jumped into a gallon of water. That should be treated as a lie. “If I was to give a police officer a false name, I would be charged. So shouldn’t they be charged for not telling the truth?”Mr.Tuilaepa’s son, Perry Tuilaepa, was mentally ill.Like Mr. Dalton, he was referred to the prison. He was later found hanging from a sarong.His case was treated as a suicide, but Mr. Tuilaepa still refuses to believe that his son committed suicide.