Silent march honors Officer BenjaminPOSTED: 08/12/15 4:31 PM
Workers and officers take part in a silent march to show their solidarity with Officer Gamali Benjamin. Photo Today / Milton Pieters
St. Maarten – More than 200 people marched the streets of Philipsburg yesterday in solidarity with the injured police Officer Gamali Benjamin. Nagico Insurances closed its doors at 3 p.m. and staff members walked with police officers and supporters to the spot on the Front Street were Benjamin was gunned down on Wednesday.
Emotions ran high and people were weeping and consoling each other on their way to the location. “Thank you for coming, as you know this is where Officer Benjamin was gunned down and this is an example of what we as police officers go through on a daily basis for the public of St. Maarten,” police spokesman Ricardo Henson said to the crowd.
Members of Parliament Christophe Emanuel, Sarah Wescot-Williams, Tamara Leonard, Maurice Lake, William Marlin and President Lloyd Richardson paid their respect by standing behind the grieving public. People wore ribbons as a sign of peace and some of them placed these ribbons on spot were the officer went down.
Eric Illis CEO of Nagico Insurances thanked the police for the hard work they do every day and called the incident an unfortunate one. “Every day Officer Benjamin used to stop by and ask the staff how they are doing, if everything is ok. He went beyond the call of duty and we will miss him. He is a great officer and we continue to pray for him and his family through this difficult time.”
The group then marched to the police station and onlookers joined in. “He was the best police officer,” someone shouted while a market vendor told the passing crowd “stay strong, God is in control.” At the police station and Henson pleaded with crowd to keep praying, saying that he appreciated the support given to the police department in this difficult time.
“This is the time that we need you, do not think that given us information will not help. This is the time to speak out, we need your help to solve this case. “The Chief Inspector requested a moment of silence and the crowd bowed their heads and prayed for the well-being of Benjamin who returned from the Dominican Republic yesterday. (See related story)