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CONSENT DECREE? VIPD’s Dirk Marshall Won’t Be Disciplined For Ambush Beating of Civilian

FREDERIKSTED — The Virgin Islands Police Department (VIPD) officer who fought with disruptive airline passenger Jason Felix last week will not face disciplinary measures for his actions, the police commissioner said.

The incident, which took place on May 23 on an American Airlines flight from St. Croix to Miami, involved the 35-year-old Felix and VIPD officer Dirk Marshall, the Virgin Islands Free Press has learned.

“I don’t see anything from the video that suggests to me he did anything wrong,” Police Commissioner Delroy Richards Sr. told the V.I. Daily News. “Obviously he reacted to being on a flight with somebody who was out of control.”

Richards never identified the VIPD officer, nor did any of the press reports until the V.I. Free Press today named Marshall as the man who engaged Felix.

It is not clear from the videos posted to the Internet who was the aggressor in the fight, but Marshall was standing behind Felix before the fight began and he clearly outweighs him and is taller.

Marshall ended up on top of Felix in the fight in the aisle of the airplane.

And if Marshall got the best of Felix in the fight, it worked against the civilian, because he was bleeding and allegedly spit that blood at Marshall — that added to the charges against the civilian.

Richards said that Marshall was on leave at the time of the altercation. Marshall is also part of Gov. Kenneth Mapp’s security detail.

Felix was due for a detention hearing in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, first on Tuesday, then on Thursday, but the public information office for the U.S. Department of Justice there has not responded to requests for information.

Marshall told the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) that Felix had a “bad reputation” on St. Croix. Felix is in fact a paroled convicted felon with robbery, drug and weapons possession and domestic violence offenses in his past.

Since 2009, the VIPD has been ordered by the U.S. Department of Justice to produce a use-of-force policy to guide patrol officers and commanders through their encounters with civilians.

Every alleged incident of violence by a Virgin Islands Police Department (VIPD) officer on a civilian is required to be thoroughly investigated as a result of the federal consent decree.

Felix is scheduled for an arraignment on June 7.

Meanwhile, one of the sisters of Marshall made this comment to the V.I. Freep tonight.

“I came across an article you wrote about my brother Dirk Marshall in the FreePress in which you described my brother as “Savagely” beating a civilian on the American flight 1293,” Denese Marshall wrote. “I am appalled of your description of the altercation. I don’t find your attempt for headline grabbing amusing. I have seen the reports and no where have they described my brother self defense as savagely beating a civilian. In fact, if my if brother did not come to the American stewardess defense the incident would have been a lot worse. Therefore, I am demanding a retraction of your headline grabbing nonsense. If you choose not too respond to my request we will file suit against the freepress for defamation of character.”

Denese Marshall works as a mental health care professional on St. Croix.

To read more:

Below is a video with the VIPD’s Dirk Marshall that he posted to YouTube:


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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy has been reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands since 1989. He is originally from Detroit, Michigan.

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