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Senator Sarauw Urged The Consortium Not To Publish. Here’s Why We Did.

Breaking News / Crime / News / Top Stories / Virgin Islands / March 27, 2018

For most of Sunday, Senator Janelle Sarauw — after being contacted by The Consortium relative to the report she filed concerning a female police officer who Ms. Sarauw alleged on Saturday pulled a gun on her — urged The Consortium not to publish the story.

Her reasoning was manifold. Ms. Sarauw argued that the situation, which involved the senator, the officer and another female, was delving into her personal life. The senator also requested that the story be placed on hold until an event she is putting on in conjunction with the Department of Education, called “Sounds of the Virgin Islands 2018”, took place. The event is set for Wednesday (see a promo video on our Facebook platform).

Ms. Sarauw further stated that she did not assault anyone, and that if she did she would not have an issue with the story being published. But because there was no violence involved, according to the senator, the story should not be published. The conversations, which began on Sunday morning, lasted until late Sunday night.

The Virgin Islands Consortium Founder, Ernice Gilbert, represented the publication in the discussions with Ms. Sarauw. Mr. Gilbert spoke with four team members about the matter, and told Ms. Sarauw that if a decision was made to publish the story, she would be notified and given an opportunity to make a statement. Mr. Gilbert also told the senator that if The Consortium decided to publish the story, The Consortium would explain why it did.

During deliberation, a consensus was reached: The Consortium would publish the story because of the following reasons: 1), A senator accused a police officer of drawing a gun at her; 2) The police officer was placed on paid leave because of the accusation; 3) The Consortium had obtained video footage of a past incident involving the senator, the police officer and the other female, as well as a police report the female police officer filed against Ms. Sarauw on January 14; and 4) V.I.P.D. Commissioner Delroy Richards had confirmed the Saturday incident to this publication, including the involvement of the senator, and that an investigation had been launched.

“We believe it’s our duty, as a news medium, to make such situations known to the public — even more so when such matters involve a sitting senator elected by the people to represent them,” said Mr. Gilbert.

The publication, however, withheld certain portions of the developing story — including details from the January 14 police report, along with video footage of a past incident — to respect the police investigation, which is ongoing, Mr. Gilbert said.

On Monday night, Mr. Richards told The Consortium that the investigation was continuing into the matter.

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