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FYI: Minority Caucus Speaks Out Against Hate Crimes

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June 24, 2005 – Senator-at-large Craig Barshinger, in a joint statement with his Minority Caucus colleagues, Senators Roosevelt St. C. David, Pedro "Pete" Encarnacion, Louis P. Hill, Neville James, Ronald E. Russell and Juan Figueroa–Serville, has issued a statement on Thursday expressing their outrage toward any person who may be perpetrating hate crimes in the territory.
"I am very disturbed by the recent allegations of racial problems in St. John," Sen. Barshinger said. "St. John has the reputation of being 'Love City'; a place where all people, white, black and other nationalities, live together in peace and harmony. Any other negative thinking must be eradicated at its core."
The Minority Caucus members strongly urge the V.I. Police Department to rally all their forces to get to the bottom of this disturbing incident.
"I understand the F.B.I. was called in to investigate this incident," Minority Leader Sen. David said. "I am confident that both the local and federal law enforcement agencies will make themselves available to all parties involved and get to the root of this situation."
"St. John is an island that is constantly changing. New residents are arriving daily and choosing St. John as an idyllic place to live, but sometimes changes bring problems," Sen. Barshinger said. "But in my opinion, the problems of St. John are mostly economic ones. It is no secret that opportunities for St. Johnians are lacking – job creation, education and technical training, home ownership – these are the core issues for St. John," Sen. Barshinger said.
Sen. Barshinger added that the perpetrators of this incident must face the swift and full wrath of the law. "No one is above the law," he said. "These kinds of incidents diminish everyone; it must not be allowed to continue. But I must say unequivocally, I never endorse racism, I never condone racism, and I never will accept this behavior in St. John, St. Thomas, Water Island or St. Croix, and my minority colleagues stand firm with me in these sentiments."

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