[Letter to the V.I. Daily News copied to the Source]
I read in utter amazement the article entitled "Police move to reform" on pages 2 and 3 of the Jan. 10 edition of your newspaper. I was astonished that the Daily News would attempt to take credit for the changes, upgrades and improvements that were discussed at the Jan. 9 press conference held by the Virgin Islands Police Department. The changes discussed during that press conference were in development for over six months. Your attempt to credit your recent, one-sided and incomplete story entitled "Deadly Force" with the many initiatives and programs that my staff and I have planned and implemented during my tenure is appalling and shameful.
I do not make it a habit to respond to the numerous inaccuracies printed in your newspaper or elsewhere; however, I felt compelled to set the record straight regarding your blatant attempt to earn a Pulitzer Prize at the expense of the truth, the integrity of the Police Department and the intelligence of the people of the Virgin Islands.
The people have the right to know the truth. Your reporter sat at the same press conference as other members of the press. Many other reporters asked thoughtful questions to ensure that what they would report is factual. Your reporter, for the most part, sat through the press conference without asking any questions that may have clarified any misconceptions he may have had.
For you to imply that the press conference was in response to your article is ludicrous. I have had many press conferences in the past to update the community on the accomplishments, goals and concerns of the Police Department without compromising ongoing investigations. It is interesting that your paper now attempts to take credit for the fruits of the hard work put in by my staff and me, various federal agencies, the Attorney General's Office and the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Shame on you!
Elton Lewis, Commissioner
V.I. Police Department
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