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Charlotte Amalie
Saturday, July 20, 2024
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And What About the Rest?

Dear Source,
If the VIPD has indeed done its job properly in arresting the young man who allegedly gunned down the two young men (tourists) visiting here for a wedding, then accolades to them. The jury hasn't yet spoken and the law is that one is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt.
I'm a 59 year-old white female, 20-year resident and small business owner who, a week ago, was physically assaulted in a local supermarket by a woman apparently known to the police department as a "problem." The incident was captured on videotape by the store's cameras and was copied by management and given to the VIPD officer.
The woman wasn't arrested because, as the officer on the scene said, "I didn't see it." The store manager showed him the videotape and said, "Didn't you smell the alcohol on her breath?" and the officer responded that although he spoke to her, he didn't smell anything.
Scores of witnesses but only one (a store employee) who was able and willing to give a statement, and he wasn't approached at all. Several were more than happy to give up her name and address but didn't want to get involved.
I faxed Commissioner Elton Lewis with the whole story and asked him why the woman wasn't arrested right away and why no detective came by to talk to me (which a second police officer said would be done).
No answer at all to date. Life here is very frustrating and people live in fear because if they agree to testify against someone, they fear retribution.
There are people every day who are assaulted and threatened and yet don't press charges for fear of retribution, but—and I'm sorry if I'm offending anyone—too many cops don't want to get involved because of excess paperwork and nepotism.
Really good people join the VIPD and graduate with high honors and garner their 15 minutes of fame, being photographed in their uniforms on the first or second page of the local newspapers. How many of them stay on the job? Not too many would be my guess. The "newbies" on the force try to do their job as it has been taught to them, and then they run up against roadblocks from the older "tenured untouchables" who make life difficult for them and who eventually push them out. It's a most sad situation.
Sincerely yours,
Anna Clarke
St. Thomas
Editors note: We welcome and encourage readers to keep the dialogue going by responding to Source commentary. Letters should be e-mailed with name and place of residence to source@viacess.net

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