CHAIRMAN of the OECS Authority, Vincentiam Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves, has expressed dismay at “the despicable attempts” by elements in the USA to smear the character of a Saint Lucian killed in his own apartment by a Texas police offiicer in Dallas.
In a statement issued yesterday to coincide with the funeral of Botham Shem Jean, the OECS chairman said, “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.”
According to drGonsalves, “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.”
He went on to explain that, “Jean had committed no crime, nor was he contemplating or conspiring to commit any crime.
“From every indication, 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 OECS Authority Chairman said in his special message: “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.”
According to Dr Gonsalves, “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.”
The Chairman concluded, “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.”