After a week a destructive race based protests plaguing the USA, US Virgin Islands Governor Albert Bryan Jr. has said the territory has taken steps to address the systemic and institutional policies on his patch.
The Governor said one policy is that VI police officers are residents in the communities where they enforce the laws.
“I know that our officers who are of this community do their utmost best to serve and protect the citizens of our Virgin Islands in a manner that respects the rights and dignity of Virgin Islands residents,” Bryan said.
“They have nowhere to commute to, they go to bed every night in these very same neighborhoods. They know our people, and they know our issues, and they deserve our support, cooperation, and respect.”
While underscoring centuries of issues that have plagued the African-American community, the Governor said racial prejudice does not explain why young black men were shooting at each other in the Oswald Court Housing Community or why persons in these communities refuse to help police solve crimes.
“We must have a dual plan of action that motivates young people of colour to run for leadership opportunities in their community and implement policies that curbs police brutality, recruits the right officers, and provides economic access to a better way of life,” Bryan stated.
“We must also recognize that ultimately we are all responsible for the communities that we live in, and we should be called to action, in the same way, to notify police of suspicious and criminal activity, correct our family and neighbors when they do wrong and constantly support our civil servants, like teachers, nurses and, yes, law enforcement officers.”