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‘I don’t trust the Police’ a worn out excuse- CoP Matthews

- as Zero progress made in November 2017 double murder
In 2017 the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) was faced with some 10 murders and so far, there has been 9 arrests and prosecutions in relations to five of the 10 murders, none for the double murder of November 22, 2017. Photo: VINO/File
Franklin E. Penn Jr (left) and Trinity A. Thomas (right) were killed when gunmen opened fire on a vehicle at West End, Tortola on November 22, 2017. Photo: VINO/Facebook
Franklin E. Penn Jr (left) and Trinity A. Thomas (right) were killed when gunmen opened fire on a vehicle at West End, Tortola on November 22, 2017. Photo: VINO/Facebook
The report on the investigations conducted by external sources in relation to the fatal shooting of murder accused Santo Y. Hernandez on December 6, 2017 in Butu Mountain on Tortola is expected to be in the hands of the Governor of the Virgin Islands, Augustus J. U. Jaspert shortly. Photo: Facebook
The report on the investigations conducted by external sources in relation to the fatal shooting of murder accused Santo Y. Hernandez on December 6, 2017 in Butu Mountain on Tortola is expected to be in the hands of the Governor of the Virgin Islands, Augustus J. U. Jaspert shortly. Photo: Facebook
Commissioner of Police (CoP), Mr Michael B. Matthews has renewed the call for persons with information relating to the double murder of November 22, 2017 to come forward in some way to help the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) solve the gruesome crime. Photo: VINO
Commissioner of Police (CoP), Mr Michael B. Matthews has renewed the call for persons with information relating to the double murder of November 22, 2017 to come forward in some way to help the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) solve the gruesome crime. Photo: VINO
PASEA ESTATE, Tortola, VI- “There is real truth to the saying, ‘The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing,’” stated Commissioner of Police (CoP), Mr Michael B. Matthews as he renewed the call for persons with information relating to the double murder of November 22, 2017 to come forward in some way to help the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) solve the gruesome crime.

It was a murder which rocked the territory of the Virgin Islands (VI) more than any other in its recent history, for the sole front that an innocent child, Trinity A. Thomas, 11, was killed.

In 2017 the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) was faced with some 10 murders and so far, there have been 9 arrests and prosecutions in relation to five of the 10 murders, none for the double murder.

Responding to questions at a press conference today January 29, 2018 at Pasea Estate, Mr Matthews said Thomas was asleep in the back seat when unidentified criminals shot and killed her, along with the driver of the vehicle, Mr Franklin E. Penn Jr.

“These are killers living in our communities, let’s make no bones about this, they are in our communities and they think they got away with it. They are using weapons in our communities, they must have somewhere to hide those weapons, they are seen carrying those weapons. Illegal firearms are seen in our communities almost everyday but it’s not everyday we get information on them.”

Disgusting

Mr Matthews said that when comparing the level of solving murders around the world it is successful because witnesses come forward. “So let’s just reflect on the snubbing out of young Trinity’s life and ask me how many people have come forward and given us information in relation to that killing is a big fat zero and I think it’s disgusting.”

“I don’t care who the killers are in terms of relating to people in the community,” he stressed while urging persons with any bit of information to confide in someone, if not the RIVPF.

“There are many ways to get the word to us, whether through a pastor, a friend, a minister of Government, or a trusted individual within the community, rather than for persons to use the worn out excuse, ‘I don’t trust the Police.’

"We know the information is out there because every now and then we find something out and we discover when we find it out that several people knew this but nobody is prepared to tell us so they are just waiting for the police to eventually find out. It’s not [the] way to operate in a modern society."

Investigative report into shooting of Hernandez getting final ‘tweaks’

Meanwhile, the report on the investigation conducted by external sources in relation to the fatal shooting of murder accused Santo Y. Hernandez on December 6, 2017 in the hills of Butu Mountain on Tortola is expected to be in the hands of the Governor of the Virgin Islands, Mr Augustus J. U. Jaspert shortly.

Hernandez, who was one of many to escape from Her Majesty’s Prison at Balsam Ghut after the powerful category 5 hurricane, Irma, destroyed the prison buildings, died on December 7, 2017 at Peebles Hospital after being shot by police.

According to Matthews, it was only today that his deputy was informed that the report is now having its final tweaks as it relates to the acquisition of a final ballistic report before it is passed on to the Commissioner of Police in the Turks and Caicos. “So, I am envisioning that it would be in the very near future that we would be in receipt of that report.

“Now bear in mind that it is sanctioned ultimately by His Excellency the Governor in terms of such an investigation. So ultimately that report will become the property of His Excellency the Governor.”

However, CoP Matthews said it is his personal view that components of the report should be made public but that’s not his call.

“My only caveat I would place on that is, if it created risks for any current or future RVIPF operations by publishing certain parts of the reports that might explain how we do certain things then I think we have to think carefully about those aspects.”

Hernandez was allegedly in a confrontation with members of the RVIPF on the morning he was found hiding in an abandoned house where he was said to have a knife. CoP Matthews had described him as “violent.”

Weeks later, a 12-member team from the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force arrived in the VI to conduct, what Mr Matthews said will be an “independent investigation" into the killing of Mr Hernandez.

27 Responses to “‘I don’t trust the Police’ a worn out excuse- CoP Matthews”

  • Gumption.Official (29/01/2018, 16:58) Like (20) Dislike (1) Reply
    It’s so crazy how all the victims have family and friends and you would have think they would be passionate about help being closure or peace of mind to their home or friends home but Whats even more crazy most (gunman/ woman on the islands are family or friends of friends so they don’t see the need or fit to say anything because they have to keep fitting in. Sad. Their fitting in in a circle that’s leading to a brick wall. If the community or their friends really cared they would step out and up. RIP to the princess who didn’t deserve this as all. Sadly how quickly humans can move on like it’s nothing but it’s normal.
    • Brie (29/01/2018, 17:42) Like (10) Dislike (2) Reply
      @Gumption. Official

      Same thing I'm saying. One will think that family and friends of these victims who move in several circles will be more that willing to share any information with they authorities. We cannot as a country continue to let crime ruin our lives. We cannot continue kept silence on these matters any longer and try to just it by claiming not to trust the police as if this will make it any better. By keeping silent we are given permission to criminals to continue there crime spree.

      On another note, Mr. Matthews, you have to ensure that your officers can be trusted with information that should remain confidential. Officers should display behavior that is up holding to their post. Being a Police Officer is a very difficult job, but one must be prepare for such and should really love the country and all citizens who dwell there. It should not only be for a pay check and to avoid immigration and labor lays in the country and for locals officers it should not be and entitlement job and a right to do whatever you please.

      When enforcing the law, it should be done across the board. Not one thing for John and different interpretation for Peter. Everyone should be treat fair and just. This is one of the reasons for the distrust of the police. Citizen of this country you are not without fault. One should show respect for self, those around us and for the community on a whole especially raising our children. Good Behavior Counts. As the old saying goes MANNERS MAKETH A MAN. If you don't understand this ask and elderly person around you what it means.

      • brent (29/01/2018, 18:35) Like (11) Dislike (1) Reply
        @Brie, you are correct. Remember the female cop that was informing the crooks that the police were on their way and the ones who were caught looting after the hurricane? Cops like them are very dangerous and will set you up. Most cops here are good and honest and are doing their jobs the best they can. I sure do wish the people who know something would come forward. They can even go to St. John or St Thomas to send a text anonymously if they are that afraid. Either way, something has to be done with these murderers so we can live peacefully once again. I am so sad to see what has been happening here.
    • to gumption (29/01/2018, 19:20) Like (2) Dislike (6) Reply
      What exactly do you want the family to do if they have no tips or clues coming in?? Sometimes people find it fit to comment and point fingers when they have no idea what's going on. APART from your comments May i ask what help you offered cause you seem to know something that the police,the families and friends don't know
      • Gumption. Official (29/01/2018, 19:59) Like (11) Dislike (1) Reply
        @to Gumption / concerning your last part I do know we live in a society that’s very (1) scared (2) loyal or (3) very stupid. I know 99.9% of the drug lord, gun people etc are related / friends/ mutual friend of the people who’s killing our community.

        I personally don’t know anything about those crimes or any of them but I can say just like how my friends knows me I know my friends and none of them (us) are into drugs/ Guns or living ratchet to draw those attention. We don’t support or mingle with those types of nobody.

        What I’m planning on doing to help the police will be what I’ve been doing for The last 5-6 year’s. (1) keeping my hands clean so they can focus on other issues instead of adding to my community list of issues. (2) to keep working with the 35 students of Valley Day school on VG and being an example/ role model in their life so when they grow up they can be (1 or 35) persons less involved in anything that will hurt them or our community. My job to help the family and friends for the victims will be by doing my best so no other family or friends can feel they pain and live without closure.
        • Foolish (29/01/2018, 22:02) Like (3) Dislike (19) Reply
          you need to stop commenting on matters you know nothing about. I am sure the victims had no ties to criminal activities so i don't know what you're implying. Typical knowitall wanting to add 2 cents into a matter rather than offer support and help. I don't know what miracle lamp you want the families and friends to rub to get information on the killers. BTW i doubt the family can ever get closure SMH
          • Gumption. Official (29/01/2018, 23:46) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
            @foolish - it’s an open Statement. We have a taboo on our land that we need to break. We have to look at the bigger picture. The community (including) me are the issue and Solutions. Let’s move forward and try do something positive for our youths. I’m willing to get together in anyway possible for the betterment of the community. Are you will to contact me and work on ways to help? If my statement was not clear that’s cool as I’ve always been misunderstood, filter out everything else. The good thing about it - we haven’t yet lost our community and we’re still in charge. Do hope the 27 Persons who was killed by guns get justice and hope one day our community lead by example in the positive direction.
      • cat (29/01/2018, 20:00) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
        Our progress toward becoming a banana republic continues, unabated.
  • heartless (29/01/2018, 17:33) Like (13) Dislike (0) Reply
    Imagine the kind of society we live in,where an 11yr old innocent child can be shot more than once and killed in such a heartless way and up to now,nobody can come forward with any information. It says a lot about this society....I can only pray for the families cause i know it must be very hard on them especially Trinity's family.
  • Diplomat (29/01/2018, 18:33) Like (12) Dislike (3) Reply
    There are over 20+ unsolved murders in the BVI; murderers are mingling among the approx 30,000 population so with such a small population it is highly likely that the murderers are discussing the murders with families and friends. The community is concerned about the murders (solved and unsolved), along with other violent and property crimes, and should assist the RVIPF in solving the crimes. Nevertheless, the CoP states ““‘I don’t trust the Police’ a worn out excuse- CoP Matthews.” It is not a worn out excuse; every problem has a cause, effect and solution. Thus, the question is why has residents lost confidence in the RVIPF? The RVIPF needs to look in the mirror; it leaks like a sieve so I’m surmising that residents are afraid for their personal safety and stay mute. The comish needs to instill discipline in the RVIPF, along with addressing all the other problems that needs arresting, ie, infighting among locals, regional expats and whites. Good luck!
  • Hmmm (29/01/2018, 18:55) Like (3) Dislike (7) Reply
    Poor man completely out of it its a shame some of the other commissioners in the past did not get the financial support he is getting now. You have officers been charge for alleged corruption and he come on here talking this nonsense. Crime is a terrible thing no doubt about it.
  • DON Q (29/01/2018, 18:59) Like (8) Dislike (3) Reply
    for real we do not trust the police they talk to much
  • apple pie (29/01/2018, 19:27) Like (3) Dislike (7) Reply
    police done know the killer so why talk?
  • wize up (29/01/2018, 19:52) Like (8) Dislike (5) Reply
    trust!!!! A lady living close to a bar made a report to the police; the police then went to that bar and told the operator the name of person who called the police station making the complaint about the noise......how long the commissioner living in this territory moreover he can say what he desire because when his “con-tract” done he gone: some of we must stay in this little place....
    • Outlaw (31/01/2018, 06:22) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      Size up you sound so stupid and then you want people to believe you was a police. You are affected by loud noise, the police goes to the person making the noise, is there a secret to let the culprit know who is affected, that’s the problem here with us, everyone want to hide while others work on their behalf. You were no better because as a cop when you used to go out you were more taking up with begging and looking favors than doing you darn Job
  • hello (29/01/2018, 20:13) Like (12) Dislike (1) Reply
    I had an incident at my house ,where I live is off of the street and there is no one else on that street and it's not in the town area anyway there were two police officers that came to the house to deal with the situation the next morning when I came in to town I was at onemart a lady approached me and asked me about my situation do I said to her where did that come from her reply a police friend called her and told her this was supposed to be private and confidential some one could have paid a price for what had happened how can you trust them
    • Nickle (30/01/2018, 13:34) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      @hello, you should have reported the lady that came to you with the news. I would have made sure the news bringer and her police friend would not have gotten away with that.
      ..
  • P (30/01/2018, 07:04) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
    What do you expect from Tortola AKA Devil's Island AKA doom Island.
  • ThinkALittle (30/01/2018, 08:43) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    He is right but it goes beyond the murders. We here don't want anyone to tell us what to do. We think we are entitled to do whatever we please because either we born here or we don't come from here and don't care.
    Everything from failure to follow simple, safe traffic rules to disgusting murders like this, to corruption and rule-bending at every level of government which no one complains about because they hope they can benefit from it, or they scared they'll be blacklisted and won't get a trade license or something.
    Is this territory's culture rotten to the core?
    Would we be better off if we had a set of cops like the UK and Bermuda police who were here just enforcing the law and not caring who it is they pulling over because they aren't related/don't live next door/aint afraid of them? Is the only solution to hand the full law and order portfolio over to the UK?
    Of course, then everyone would complain about colonial slave master oppression, but as we know, any excuse will come up for not respecting the law, whether they are UK or Vincey cops.
    More fundamentally - how do we re-shape our population's culture to start considering the greater good of all instead of just the good of ourself, our friends, our family? Serious, this place is messed up and we need to fix it, fast.
  • answer (30/01/2018, 09:37) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    So penn worked at airport.. maybe he stop cooperating or touched money that wasn't his
  • Xxx (30/01/2018, 10:38) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    In a way, you have to feel for someone like the little 11 year old
  • Im saying it (30/01/2018, 10:44) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
    I agree with the Police Commissioner 100%. Stop the lame, dated nonsense about not trusting the police. Have some compassion for the crime victims families. Most of you KNOW who commit the crime and you choose to stay silent. You see the victims families on the street on a daily, you laugh and talk to them like everything is ok. You who knows who commit these crimes and choose to stay silent, you are just as guilty as the person who comitted the crime. LET YOUR CONSCIENCE BE YOUR GUIDE. Your conscience will destroy you.
  • unknown (30/01/2018, 13:12) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    The police them talk to much that's why ppl don't give them information ,they will call it name to other ppl
  • Just saying (30/01/2018, 21:49) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    He's right. But they need to route out and remove the bad apples rather than chasing people around for seat belt
    crap. landlords gauging people, refusing to repair or take care of rentals, kicking people out to raise rent for new
    ones, crooked banks or their managers being allowed to operate in BVI even after the proof presented to the Premier,
    charging all kinds of money for defective products coming in here - and HELL yes, these insane murders, drive by
    shootings in a country with very limited allowance to even have guns. What the hell is up? Would it be best to
    just have a nuclear weapon dropped to finish it all off? Terrible thought and I'm sure the police commissioner does
    not like that one - but what the hell else is to be done? Place is insane. No brakes.
  • Outspoken (31/01/2018, 06:28) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply

    Most of the comments I have read under this story goes right back to what the COP is saying, all kinds of lame a$$ excuses about not trusting police, the reason why no one talking. “FOOLISHNESS”. You don’t trust the police with your information because they will talk or call your name, well then their are many reputable people still living amongst us, why not go and give them the information to pass on, do you not trust them either

  • Sandra (31/01/2018, 13:48) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    I live in a family yard and we hardly speak because I don’t agree with their lifestyles, so I never know what they are doing until I hear it through the grapevine. I get offended when people come up to me talking about an issue I knew nothing about, all because I live in the same yard I am guilty by association, which is wrong. I myself am shocked about what I hear too much too little too late when it is all over.


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