Suspended police officer in court for Isidora shooting

POSTED: 10/27/15 5:58 PM

yorkCap. Police Officer Richmer Y. is escorted into the courthouse by the police. File photo Today / Andrew Dick

St. Maarten – Suspended police officer Richmer Michel Patrick Y. will stand trial in the Court in First Instance tomorrow for shooting Akeem Isidora on March 4. The police officer was arrested on May 17 and has been detained since that time, for his own safety, in Aruba.

On Wednesday March 4 the defendant sought out Isidora in Belvedere. He was off duty and drove his private car.

Prosecutor Gonda van der Wulp said at a pro forma hearing on September 2 that it is “insufficiently clear whether this is a case of self-defense.” There had been problems between the policeman and Isidora earlier that same day. “He went to show the victim his service weapon, saying, one of these is for you. The defendant also had sufficient opportunity to drive away from the situation. And in spite of the threatening situation, the doors of his car were not locked.” It seems that the defendant was out for a confrontation.”

Attorney Sharia Bommel told the court at the same hearing however that several witness statements show that her client had been threatened by the victim. “His own mother said that her son and his crew were present,” she said, “It cannot be excluded that Junior, the victim’s brother, was there holding an axe. My client’s car was surrounded by the crew and Junior and the victim behaved in a threatening manner.”

The prosecution did not immediately arrest Richmer Y. because of his status as a policeman. “First we carefully investigated and only when we found insufficient evidence for self-defense we arrested him,” prosecutor Van der Wulp told the court in September.

Isidora was involved in a stabbing in 2010 that left 22-year-old Otmar Leonard dead. Facing ten years in prison for the stabbing the court acquitted Isidora, who was 17 at the time, of the crime in 2011.

The Minister of Justice was informed about the suspension of the police officer a week after the incident in March and agreed with the move by the police force after assessing the case.

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