Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace addressing the town hall meeting in New York. (Photo: NDP/Facebook)

Leader of the Opposition Arnhim Eustace has defended his decision not to report to police information he received indicating that one of his constituents would be murdered.

The bullet-riddled body of 25-year-old Roger Bramble, a resident of Sion Hill, an East Kingstown community, was found on the banks of a stream in Brighton on April 14, two days after resident heard a barrage of gunshots in the area.

(Read: Bullet-riddled body of Sion Hill man found in Brighton)

Speaking at a town hall meeting in Brooklyn on Saturday, Eustace said he had been told the young man would be killed, and defended his decision not to communicate that information to police.

It was the second time that he was revealing the information, which he first mentioned in Canada a week before, triggering in a barrage of criticism from supporters of the ruling Unity Labour Party.

“I made mention of that when I spoke in Toronto. I understand that the ULP radio down there (in St. Vincent) cussing me saying I shoulda report to the police,” Eustace said.

“Let me tell you what happen. For the first time in my life, I was told that a young man in my constituency would not live beyond the weekend. … That is the first time I was hearing anything like that. It turns out that he had shot at somebody elsewhere in the constituency and the fellas had started to come around Sion Hill in some car with army fatigue on, looking for him,” Eustace said.

He said that the Thursday before the killing, he received a telephone call advising him not to come to Sion Hill, a community in East Kingstown, whihc Eustace represents in Parliament.

“When I went on the block where Knight’s Supermarket is, all the fellas gone home already [at] five-something in the afternoon. When you see that, you know something wrong, fellas protecting themselves,” Eustace said.

“But I still didn’t believe that it would come to that. By Saturday (April 12), that young man was dead. He got six bullets. So, the people knew what they were saying,” he further stated.

“They (ULP supporters) are now down there running off their mouth, saying I shoulda go to the police. Somebody tell me something, that is evidence for me to go to the police?” said Eustace, a former prime minister.

Larger issue

“But that is not the point. The point is that too often we are having too many killings in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and some of them are most heinous, he said, mentioning a case in which a man was thrown into a cauldron of boiling water a few years ago.

“We have some very harsh crimes in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and we have put forward a social and spiritual redemption charter to the Parliament to deal with that kind of crime, which we cannot get debated in Parliament since 2003, which goes into policies and programmes to deal with our young people,” Eustace further said, of the New Democratic Party policy on crime prevention.

“Every time they go to Parliament the government wants to change the motion so that they won’t have to vote on it,” he further said.

SVG has recorded 15 homicides so far this year, and guns were used in at least 10 of these killings.

The latest victim is 36-year-old Ricardo Mattis, whose body was found in his house in Campden Park.

Police said he died sometime between 6:30 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m. Saturday.

The deceased received gunshot and stab wounds as well as a cut to his throat.

11 replies on “Opposition Leader remained silent when told constituent would be murdered”

  1. Carlos Walcott says:

    Yes Mr. Eustace, you should have gone to the cops. Death threats are never to be taken lightly, especially in a SVG where murder is at an all time high. I am disappointed in your stance not to report it and moreso, your flimsy excuses why you didn’t. Shame!

  2. This story is most hurtful. I recalled three persons were killed some years ago….The story is after the mother was killed in site of construction workers nearby, the killer was allowed to go to the house where the other persons were killed…..the hurt is one of the person killed was friends of my niece….a little girl. The construction workers did not help in time to save at least two lives….

  3. Ann-Marie Ballantyne says:

    A citizen- an aspiring Prime Minister is informed that a murder would take place. How does he seek to help to prevent it?…He doesn’t even alert the police to put them on the ‘look out’! He then talks about putting forward a “social and spiritual redemption charter…” in parliament. What about starting to do something about that which is right before your eyes? Don’t you think that maybe thoughtful, rights-interested(love in heart for all humanity), responsible behaviour could have made a difference? Don’t you think you may have helped in preventing a crime Mr. Opposition Leader? …I really find Mr. Eustace’s actions unbelievable and I find the explanation worse. Where in the interest in the preservation of life- a basic God-given human right?

  4. The criminals and vagabonds in the ULP should be ashamed of themselves; their leader promised the nation in their manifesto of 2001 that they were going to be tough on crime and the causes of crime. And what did they do? Absolutely nothing! Crimes and all manner of criminal activities have increased to a level never seen before in St.Vincent- we have a leader who was accused of rape and sexual misconduct but the matter was nolle prosequi by the DPP; what the ULP should be asking is why haven’t the police apprehended the killers; why 80% of of murders go unsolved; why guns are so prevalent in SVG, and why the comrade has abandoned his pledge to be tough on crime and the causes of crime? Get the vagabonds out in the next general elections. Antigua’s liberation day is coming; when will we in SVG be informed of our own liberation day!!

  5. Teacherfang says:

    SNITCHES GET STITCHES? IS THIS WHAT MR EUSTACE WAS THINKING WHEN HE BLATANTLY REFUSE TO INFORM THE POLICE OF SOMEONE’S LIFE IN DANGER. Is Mr Eustace an OG?

    The most fundamental responsibility of any Government is to ensure the security of its people. And given the proliferation of gun violence taken place in Vincyland, you would think Mr Eustace would have acted in a more responsible manner and do everything in his power to at least disrupt the timeline of the death of this person. But lo and behold, the man dubbed “Mr Clean” buckled under the weight of great expectations; this is a monumental misstep by someone aspiring to be the leader of the country. As a matter of fact, Mr Eustace ought to be taken outside and stone with toilet paper. Mr Eustace should be ashamed to even mention this in the confines of his bedroom, much less in the public domain; such shameful admission should be kept to yourself. But I suspect the NDP and Eustace is trying to get in front of this before the ULP get hold of it. This is simply a PR move in an attempt to minimize the inevitable damage that such revelation would bring to the NDP and Eustace. I guess that was a good strategic move but Eustace attitude cancel out any positive move that was made. His galling attempt to defend his inaction, showed a level of callousness unbecoming of someone whose daily mantra is a call for a “kinder and gentler society”. Mr Eustace’s reasoning, by suggesting a lack of “evidence” was the reason for not calling the Police, is just unacceptable.

    No Mr Eustace, the larger point is…you f***ed up!

    Question: Can Mr Eustace be charged with some form of aiding and abetting? After all, one can say he had prior knowledge to a commission of a particular crime, to a particular person, at particular time. Is there a level of liability on the part of Mr Eustace? Just thinking aloud. I don’t know but I am not certain if this was a wise move on the part of Eustace to disclose this information. In the US, the deceased family would be suing Mr Eustace hands down for sure; whether they succeed is another matter but they will be suing the pants off of Eustace, I am just saying.

  6. I don’t know why Arnhim had to talk about the issue. Had he told the police of the intended murder would it have saved the guy? I don’t think so. Neither Arnhim nor the police could have stopped it. He could still put himself and family in danger. It appears that he was warned so he won’t get to close to the murder sight. However he could not involve himself in hearsay, unless he wanted to expose his source. However Arnhim should have shut his mouth. What has he gained by talking about it now – nothing? He has only exposed himself to ridicule and he should have expected it. The murders didn’t occur on his watch, hence they can’t blame him. Ralph supporters defend the ULP when one accuses it of causing the increase in murder. Ralph is the leader of the government and he can’t or don’t know how to stop them, so how in hell can anyone expect Arnhim do stop them.

  7. urlan alexander says:

    The PM stated that person were hired to kill him and his life was in danger. Who did the police arrest for threatening the PM’s life? A police woman suuffered the indignity, the shame and the embarassment of being raped and dehumanised by a very high ranking political figure, who did the police arrested? How are we so hyporcitical and bias in SVG?

  8. Mourine Ramjeet says:

    Obviously common sense does not grow in Mr. Eustaces’ garden. You either fist up or shut up.

    Is this the quality of a true leader?

  9. It seems that everything happen in Vincy vincentian place a political twist on it. Let’s stop for a moment and think. Mr eustace u should have reported the matter to the police thwir job is to protect and serve. As a police officer myself police, police need the community and the community needs the police to solve crime. After all police are human beings and they don’t hv supernatural powers to detect when a crime is happening or about to happen. The community are the eyes and ears of the police. Talking about the increase in crime not only say the police to be blame but a community/society as a whole. Mr eustace had u report to the police listen what could have happen. More patrols in the area, stop and search could hv had the murders before the commit murder. Other crimes may hv been prevented. And the a murderer at large may have Been caught and so on. So you see its the job of every citizen tonptify the police when something in out of orderand seems suspicous. Let’s all learn from this grave mistaken and Lift SVG to a higher level and stomp out crime as a nation its not just a policething. Its a nation thing

  10. Yea it might be a lapse of judgement on his part and there are going to be more I am sure, no one is perfect, but let’s be honest and say that if he called the police and nothing happened he would be called out for making prank calls. People always act like SVG is a fair country, well news flash idiots, SVG hasn’t been fair for years and it’s still not fair now.

    Would the young man have been saved? who knows, would he be alive if we had better gun control in place? now that is a better question. You can ball all you want but SVG’s economy is in the dumpster and Mr Eustace didn’t put it there. Sometimes I wonder why the guy even bother to govern SVG. You all think if Ralph was capable of making millions at the CDB he would be in politics? Ralph would not be in politics for small money, and when he leave office we going to hear about all the bottle stopper that he made.

    Lol yes, pull down a black man, that’s the best Vincentians always know how to do. SVG will never better

  11. I agree with the comments that Arnhim should not have uttered a word about his warning, but to tell the police, nah? He would have exposed himself and family to retribution, if the guy was murdered and he had to give evidence in court. Many persons who gave evidence in court were murdered either before or after the case. Did Glen Jackson have evidence to send some people to jail? We’ll never know!
    What could Arnhim have said to the police that would keep him in the clear? Now keep in mind who controls the police in SVG. Ralph would have had a field day with this issue. Arnhim may have known the source of the report, but even his source would have been in danger.
    The ex-police is joking about what the police could have done. They presently have 13 murders on their hands and they are yet to solve one of them. People are afraid to talk to the police because they are incompetent. No one wants to trust the police with their lives because the police reveal their source if/when they get tips. This police behaviour is why there are two outstanding murders in the Layou area.
    It’s clear to me that people know the killer or killers, but is afraid to talk to the police. The police ability to collect evidence from interviews and take follow-up steps is lacking. Some guys broke into a bank in Layou and were released by a magistrate, because of a police report. The police report was thrown out, even though one guy confessed and there were pictures of the break-in.
    Hence many people are taking a chance talking to the police. Arnhim should know when to hold, know when to fold, know when to walk away and know when to run. He should never talk or count his money in front of people.

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