ST. THOMAS, V.I. – Attorney General
Claude Earl Walker said his office is assiduously dealing with the problem of
crime and violence that is plaguing our society.
AG Walker made
these remarks as he addressed a gathering Sunday afternoon who congregated at
Emancipation Garden to observe this year’s National Day of Remembrance for
He said that
while there has to be a less violent and aggressive Virgin Islands, it cannot
happen overnight and the Attorney General’s Office is doing its part to tackle
the problem in so many ways.
than a year ago,” he said, “we have increased the staff of the Victim
Unit. For the first time, we have two full-time
victim advocates, Elma Brathwaite and Donnalie Edwards-Cabey. These are persons that the victims can talk
to, they meet with crime victims or their families on a regular basis, keep
crime victims and their families informed of their cases and attend court with
them at either trial or sentencing of the defendant.”
hiring of several prosecutors in both the St. Thomas/St. John and St. Croix
districts is another strategy the Attorney General’s office has employed to
vigorously fight crime.
that when we have charged someone with murder, the family expects that we put
adequate resources into preparing and trying these cases,” AG Walker said.
AG Walker also
used the opportunity to highlight the importance of the occasion.
remembering persons who have passed away,” he said. “No one wants to live, die
and be forgotten. We should have more events like this to remember victims of
murder, to remember those who have died.”
Speaking to the
spiraling crime rate in the Territory, AG Walker opined that the murders will
end “when we realize that we have violent impulses as human beings and work to
John Acting Police Chief Jason Marsh, who also delivered brief remarks,
appealed to the public to help the police in its crime-fighting efforts.
“We as a
community must not be desensitized to this cycle of violence,” Marsh said. “We
must bring this community back to a place where we feel safe when walking the
streets. It takes us to have enough and to do something about it. I challenge
you to help us bring these criminals to justice.”
Also on hand to
address the attendees was Vivian St. Juste, Executive Director of the Family
Resource Center, who informed the affected families of the services her
ceremony, relatives of two murder victims reflected on the lives of their loved
ones. One of the highlights of the event
was the signing of the scroll when family members of murder victims were given
the opportunity to announce and write the names of their loved ones on either
of two memory scrolls mounted on site.
Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims was jointly organized by the Victim
Services Unit of the Department of Justice and the Family Resource Center.