Second District Representative and Member of Her Majesty’s Opposition Hon. Melvin “Mitch” Turnbull has pledged to lead the charge for peace and unity in response to the latest string of major crimes occurring in the territory.
In a February 17, 2021 address, he also condemned the gun-related deaths and drug and money busts which occurred late last year and in recent weeks.
He said, “In response to the recent acts of violence, murder, hurt and abuse in our Territory. I want to let you know that I stand firmly to oppose every aspect of it. I want to begin by expressing my condolences for the families of Earl Bob Hodge, Rodney “Mileage” Simmonds, Andrew Skerritt, Everton “ET” McMaster, Mathew “Shorty” Daley, George “Shawala” Burrows and any other persons that who lost their lives.”
He noted that these deaths have shaken the British Virgin Islands “to its core and is affecting us adversely, causing many of us to reconsider the way we live in these Islands.”
Hon. Turnbull added, “We should all be troubled by what has been occurring, and we should be able to pause, reflect, and ask ourselves what we can do to curtail this rise of violence and demand that it ceases. Seeing and hearing about these tragedies as often as they are now occurring is not the normal and will not be accepted as the norm in the territory. I know the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force has their role to play, and there are several investigations that have been launched and will be launched; we as a people must let our voices be heard and stand with the bereaved, with our fellow Virgin Islanders to say that we are our brother’s keeper and we do not wish to see the continued bloodshed of persons in our territory.”
As it relates to the recent major drug and money busts, the Opposition Member said, “that continues to unearth and cause a ripple effect of arrests and other related crime in our territory which in the eyes of many cast aspersions that the entire populous is seemingly corrupt from the actions of a few who choose to go contrary to the fabric and essence of what it means to be a Virgin Islander – hard working, dedicated family oriented and God Fearing people.”
In that vein, he said he was lending his voice and commitment to stand with residents for peace and order in the communities.
“I implore each of us to do our part to be watchful, be your brother’s keeper and continue to build a BVI that we could all be proud of and our children and generations yet unborn could be safe and prosper in. I’m making the commitment to help lead the fight for us to live in peace and unity,” he stated.