CASTRIES, St. Lucia, September 21, 2018 (CMC) – Prime Minister, Allen Chastanet, says he believes there is need for a “‘regional voice” to protest the murder of St. Lucian national, Botham Jean, as well as West Indians, who have been displaced and “kicked out” of the United States.
Jean, 26, was shot dead in his own apartment by a female Dallas police officer, Amber Guyger, earlier this month, after she claimed she mistook his apartment for her own.
Chastanet told reporters there was ‘inequity’ in the matter of West Indians being displaced in the United States.
“So if a person has remained in America, with a green card and then commits a crime, that person now is subject to being deported versus if that person had become a citizen, they would not be.
“We look at what’s taking place in the United Kingdom with Windrush, in terms of, again, an administrative process that invited West Indians to come to England and, unfortunately, in the mayhem of everything else, people did not become documented,” Chastanet said.
“As angry as I am, and we all should be, and as outraged as we are, this is so big and, therefore, you are talking about this has not even reached the federal level yet in the states, while many of us may not have confidence in the process, the process is what we have and we have to give that process time.”
In the Botham Jean case, Chastanet noted that the police officer has been charged with manslaughter. He said the District Attorney was very clear that evidence could come to the fore and the charge could be upgraded to murder.
“Some people want to go further, that this was home invasion and therefore is subject to capital punishment. Now again, all these things are starting to play out, because capital punishment is what the whole world has been trying to convey to us that we should not practice, yet here is a state in America that still practices it,” the Prime Minister told reporters.
“This is the inconsistency or hypocrisy, if you want to call it that,” he said, adding “that exists in the global context that we have to deal with”.
Chastanet said it was important for St. Lucia to know its moral position and be able to defend it, describing the murder of Jean as “horrific”.
On Thursday, Dallas police Chief, Renee Hall, said she doesn’t “want to interfere with the on-going criminal investigation into (Guyger’s) actions”.
“As an employer, DPD can compel Officer Guyger to provide a statement during a DPD administrative investigation, and those statements, given to DPD, could potentially compromise the criminal investigation.
“That is not a risk I am willing to take. We cannot let the criminal case be determined on a ‘technicality’, rather than the facts. An exhaustive and thorough criminal investigation is essential, and as soon as we are assured that conducting an administrative investigation will not impede on the criminal investigation, we will proceed,” Hall said in the statement.