State­ment on Botham Jean by Chair­man of OECS Au­thor­ity, Dr. Ralph E. Gon­salves

The Star (St. Lucia) - - REGIONAL -

Over the last two weeks the peo­ple of this re­gion, North Amer­ica and in­deed many other parts of the world have been fol­low­ing the rather sad, per­plex­ing, and hor­ri­fy­ing case of Botham Shem Jean, a 26-year-old ci­ti­zen of Saint Lu­cia and the OECS.

It is an un­de­ni­able fact that Botham Shem Jean was shot and killed while in the sanc­tity and com­fort of his own home on the night of Sep­tem­ber 06, 2018 by a uni­formed of­fi­cer of the Dal­las City Po­lice.

Botham Shem Jean had com­mit­ted no crime, nor was he con­tem­plat­ing or con­spir­ing to com­mit any crime. From every indi­ca­tion, Botham Shem Jean was a proud prod­uct of our Caribbean Civ­i­liza­tion – bright, God-fear­ing, re­spect­ful of oth­ers, hu­mane and full of prom­ise.

And so, it is a great loss that we all feel, and for which we sym­pa­thise deeply with his fam­ily and friends. The peo­ple of our re­gion, from the OECS and be­yond, want to let it be known to the United States of Amer­ica and in­deed to the en­tire world that we stand firmly in sol­i­dar­ity with the fam­ily and friends of Botham Shem Jean, and with the Gov­ern­ment and peo­ple of Saint Lu­cia in their de­mand for jus­tice.

We wish to make it clear that our small size or per­ceived rank­ing in global af­fairs should not lead to false as­sump­tions or con­clu­sions about the strength of our re­solve and de­ter­mi­na­tion in the fight for jus­tice.

We are dis­mayed by the de­spi­ca­ble at­tempts by some to smear the char­ac­ter of Botham Shem Jean, and call upon the au­thor­i­ties in the State of Texas and else­where in the United States of Amer­ica to work to en­sure that jus­tice pre­vails in this mat­ter.

OECS Chair­man and Prime Min­is­ter of Saint Vin­cent and the Gre­nadines, Dr. The Hon. Ralph E. Gon­salves.

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