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May 23, 2014
Eustace: On reflection, I should have gone to the police

Leader of the Opposition Arnhim Eustace says on reflection, he should have informed the police about information he had about a possible homicide.

Eustace, calling in to the Hot 97.1 AM Mayhem programme on Wednesday, said although he was alarmed at the information he had received, he did not want to accept or believe it.{{more}}

“I had a certain amount of care about the matter, but on reflection, let me be very frank; I don’t know what difference it would have made, but I should have notified the police, especially after I went back there later on in the week and saw that the fellows weren’t hanging around as usual. It really reflects very heavily, and I will say I should have gone to the police.” he told host of the programme Chris “Too Kool” Jones.

At a town hall meeting in New York on May 17, Eustace told the gathering that he had been informed by a member of his constituency that men in a car had been patrolling the area of Sion Hill, with intention to kill another individual.

“For the first time in my life, I was told that a young man in my constituency will not live beyond the weekend. It turns out that he had shot at somebody, elsewhere in the constituency, and the fellows had started to come round Sion Hill in some black car and army fatigues on, looking for him,” he explained.

Eustace said that he went into his East Kingstown constituency during the week before the young man was shot, and found that the block, where persons usually gather, was empty by 5 p.m.

“When you see that, you know something wrong. Fellows protecting themselves, but I still didn’t believe it would have come to that. By Saturday, that young man was dead. He got six bullets. So the people knew what they were saying,” Eustace, who has been the parliamentary representative for East Kingstown since 1998 said.

When he spoke in New York, the Opposition Leader said he did not share the information with the police because he did not think what he knew constituted enough evidence. He said he had been told that persons in St Vincent were talking about what he had said, saying that he should have contacted the police with the information.

“So you all tell me something, that’s evidence for me to go to the police?” he questioned. “That is not the point you know. The point is the fact that too often, we’re having too many killings in St Vincent and the Grenadines.”

Eustace first spoke about the issue while being interviewed on a radio station in Canada a few days before the New York meeting. In that interview, he stated that the person who was killed had left Sion Hill and gone to Brighton for the weekend. He also noted at that time that there needed to be a bridge of communication between youths and the police, so that information could be shared easily between the two.

On Wednesday, when he called Hot 97.1 Eustace said, “I have given a lot of thought to it since the event, but quite frankly, to me, it indicates a level of crime and the way we approach it, that kinda shocked me, despite everything we know around us; that you could hear beforehand, that somebody could be killed. And then when it happens, you then realise the enormity of the situation. So, given all those circumstances, I would say also, that I should have gone to the police before that weekend.”

Twenty-five-year-old Sion Hill resident Roger Bramble was found dead on Monday, April 14, 2014, two days after he was last seen by relatives. He was found close to the Brighton playing field with his body riddled with bullets. It is believed he was killed on the evening of Saturday, April 13, when residents say they heard gunshots.(BK)